Monday, August 18, 2014

HERO Updates, Notes And News- August 18

HERO 4-HERO haters 0

Despite the faith-based oppressors trying to spin this as a 'victory', the reality is they lost twice in court Friday in their bid to force a November repeal vote of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Because the 152nd District Court has a Democratic judge (which is more ample evidence that elections matter) the haters tried to get the case heard in the  14th District Texas Court of Appeals in the hopes they would get a conservative leaning judge.

Former city councilor Jolanda Jones speaks about Equal Rights Ordinance on August 15, 2014 at 201 Caroline St. in Houston, TX.
The strategy didn't work, because the 14th District Appeals Court refused to hear their case and sent it back to the 152nd District Court and Judge Schaeffer

While all this legal maneuvering was going on, Team HERO was holding a noon press conference before the court hearing at the steps of the Harris County Civil Courthouse telling our side of the story.

The pro-HERO peeps are continuing to hammer home the points why this non-discrimination ordinance needs to be implemented without delay instead of being delayed .  

This news story that broke last Thursday about an African-American cis man being denied access to a downtown public bathroom in a public building is more evidence why HERO needs to be implemented in H-town without delay. 

In the Friday afternoon court hearing, the faith based haters went in trying to accomplish three things.  
*A temporary restraining order to stop HERO from being implemented. 
*An order forcing City Council to vote to repeal HERO in its entirety
*An order forcing a City Council vote to place it on the November 2014 ballot.

Never mind the fact the HERO haters screwed up and failed to follow clearly set out city charter parameters for conducting petition drives and they know it.  Now in their faith-based phobic arrogance want the special right to ignore the rules that everyone else has to follow.

At the end of the hearing, the HERO haters failed to accomplish any of their goals.  They agreed to withdraw the TRO request since Mayor Parker made it moot by suspending implementation of the HERO pending the results of the court case

The trial date will be January 19, 2015, which means that the earliest election date that can happen for a HERO repeal vote will be the November 2015 city elections.  

The haters were trying to get it on the ballot this November, and the deadline to submit ballot language to the Texas Secretary of State for the upcoming election was today.   It's why the HERO haters were so pressed to force City Council to act on it.  

But while a HERO repeal referendum will not be on the November 2014 ballot, it also means the HERO will not be in effect either until the legal issues are sorted out.   The silver lining is that it gives us time to educate the people who have been bamboozled into believing the faith based lies and flip them into becoming supporters of the ordinance once we lay out the facts

Moving on to other HERO related news.   On Tuesday August 19 there will be a HERO Volunteer Appreciation Event at Resurrection MCC featuring Mayor Annise Parker.

At the event will get an update on where the legal challenges against HERO-our new landmark nondiscrimination law stand, take a moment to celebrate the amazing work that our broad citywide coalition has done and accomplished so far and hear what we need to do to ensure that HERO remains City of Houston law.

The Volunteer Appreciation event will start at 6:30 PM at the church, located at  2725 W 11th St. 

On Wednesday August 20 at Social Junkie, the Houston Forum will present starting at 6:30 PM entitled '10 Things I Hate About You: Why Houston Needs HERO.   It will feature Councilmembers Ellen Cohen and Ed Gonzales      

As is so apropos to this HERO discussion, Social Junkie is located at 2412 Washington Ave, the street where clubs located on it have been going buck wild discriminating against anyone that isn't a heterosexual white male.  

The Houston Forum is a space for like-minded people to meet, network and discuss current issues and to foster the progressive community in Houston.   If you wish to attend what should be an interesting event,  e-mail Lillie Schechter at to do so. 

Meanwhile at the Montrose Center that same night, starting at 7:30 PM will be the Real Talk: A Message Of Equality event jointly sponsored by the Movement Advancement Project and Equality Texas.

African Americans are the best messengers for LGBT equality in the African American community. This training brings national experts from the Movement Advancement Project and Equality Federation to lead a conversation among African Americans about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Our presenters will provide evidence-based information on effective messaging that can be difficult to hear, but is vital to broader public education efforts.
RSVP is required for your attendance.  Please go to this link:

The struggle to keep the HERO continues.

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