Two weeks from today, voters in the nation’s fourth-largest city will decide whether to ban discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations.
The outcome of the Nov. 3 vote on Houston’s’ Equal Rights Ordinance, which will appear as Proposition 1 on the ballot, is likely to have a ripple effect across the country. If HERO passes, it will build momentum for similar local, state and federal laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But if HERO is defeated, it will deliver that same momentum to opponents of equality, particularly since they’ve built their campaign in Houston almost entirely around the debunked transgender bathroom myth.
With that in mind, it should be all hands on deck, not only for the LGBT community in Houston, but for supporters of equality across the US. In addition to sexual orientation and gender identity, HERO would ban discrimination based on 13 other characteristics, including race, sex and veteran’s status.
On Monday, we mentioned that HERO opponents have unleashed a barrage of false, misleading radio and TV ads suggesting the ordinance would allow sexual predators to enter restrooms to prey on women and children. The latest ad was funded by anti-LGBT Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who spent $70,000 from his own campaign account.
RELATED: Texas Lieutenant Governor, Anti-LGBT Hate Group Attack Houston Equal Rights Ordinance – VIDEO
The coalition supporting HERO, Houston Unites, is also airing radio and TV ads, but needs additional funds to keep them in front of voters through Election Day. Therefore, one way to join the fight for equal rights in Houston would be to make a financial contribution to Houston Unites by going here. But there are other also ways to help.
The National Equality Action Team is hosting volunteers to phone-bank from home, anywhere in the US, to get out the vote and recruit volunteers in support of HERO, over the next two weeks. Several phone-banking events are also planned in New York City. For more info, go here.
Finally, if your’e unable to directly support the campaign, consider a post on social media alerting your friends and followers to the national significance of the upcoming vote in Houston, the largest city in the US without an equal rights ordinance.
Check out a few of the pro-HERO ads below.