|Lies like this have peppered the city of Houston|
By consistently putting out the message that predators will invade women's restrooms (even after the claim has been repeatedly refuted by city officials, professionals who work with sexual abuse victims, and others), opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) have closed the polling gap and some experts have predicted a win for them in Tuesday's referendum.
From The Washington Post:
The campaign to pass the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, has become a priority for national gay rights groups and the city’s gay mayor — as well as for local business leaders, who fear an economic backlash similar to the one that hammered Indiana earlier this year if it is not adopted. But with an election set for Tuesday, polls show voters are divided on the measure — and some analysts are predicting defeat.
One reason, they say, is the provocative claim that the measure would permit “any man at any time” to enter a women’s bathroom “simply by claiming to be a woman that day.” Opponents have dubbed the measure “the bathroom ordinance.”
“Houston voters do not want men in their women’s bathrooms,” said the Rev. Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastors’ Council. “It’s an invasion of privacy, an invasion of a safe space for women and girls.”
It’s also completely untrue, supporters of the measure say. They accuse Welch and others of fearmongering, noting that the ordinance would not only protect the rights of transgender people, but also challenge discrimination on the basis of race, sex and a dozen other factors, including military status.
“I don’t care who you are, you belong in one of those 15 categories. This literally is going to protect everyone in the city,” said Lou Weaver, 45, a transgender activist who is working to pass HERO. “Trans women are literally being painted like boogeymen here, the monster under the bed.”
Whatever happens Tuesday, the lgbt community and its allies should take note. No matter how happy we are because we won marriage or how much we think this so-called culture war is over, now is not the time to ease up. And for God's sake, stop underestimating the organizations who fight against lgbt equality. They still have pull, influence, and as you can see, lies which they can exploit tremendously. Folks, we have to start a national conversation on anti-lgbt propaganda and those who push it. And before things like this happen.
And as for the city of Houston, should HERO lose, in the words of Shakespeare:
"To willful men, the injuries they procure must be their own schoolmasters."