Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HERO: Next Steps Meeting

You know I thought is was important if I tore myself away from the USA's initial World Cup match to head over to Resurrection MCC to attend a community meeting concerning the HERO and our next steps in defending it.

It was another one of the frequent questions I received while I was in Philadelphia for the PTHC in terms of how the haters petition drive was going.

In a fast paced one hour meeting in their Gathering Place room that seemed more like a reunion, we got updates on the current situation from Januari Leo, Christina Gorczynski, Brad Pritchett, Lou Weaver and Ryan Leach with major assist from Kristen Capps .

Christina reminded us in her presentation that our greatest asset in this fight to defend the HERO is the truth is on our side.   She pointed out the HERO covers 15 protected classes of which only two are sexual orientation and gender identity.  The HERO also addresses discrimination based on sex, race, color, age, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, familial status, genetic information, military status, pregnancy, disability and religion. 

The exempted classes are private clubs, religious organizations, private schools, senior citizen and military discounts and federal, state and county governmental entities. 

The private employers threshold is stairstepped.  I would have rather had it be 15 from the outset, but it goes from 50 employees in the first year to 25 in the second year and 15 in the third and subsequent years. 

It not only protects Houstonians but visitors to our city as well.. 

Brad's presentation covers the HOUequality website which is designed to be an informational clearinghouse concerning all things HERO related.   If you need to do some faith-based lie busting, you can whip out your mobile device and have at your fingertips all the factual information to crush the lie in an avalanche of information. 

Lou's portion of the presentation busted the anti-trans myths the haters are using to stir animus toward the ordinance and what to do to help Houston trans community voters get registered and a early voting polling place they can go where they will be respected. 

Ryan closed it out with our game plan if the faith based haters get enough signatures to place it on the November ballot.  Who gets to write the repeal ballot language, fundraising and PAC's.

So yep, definitely needed to be there.  Besides, the USA-Ghana game will be replayed on demand  anyway.      

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