Michelangelo Signorile On Why HERO Failed Last Night In Houston

LGBT activist and SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile gives his (spot on, in my opinion) analysis on why Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance failed at the ballot box last night:

Political strategists warned LGBT activists in the days ahead of the vote: There was little Spanish-language outreach, no big ad buy in Spanish-language media — in a city that is 44% Hispanic — countering the lies of the opposition, who’d certainly been doing their own outreach. Monica Roberts, a long-time African-American transgender activist, warned of little outreach in the black community, which makes up 24% of the city. There was little emphasis by the LGBT rights coalition on the terrible economic impact that a “no” vote to equality would have on the city — something else that political strategists warned was lacking in their campaign as well. And no ads by LGBT rights proponents held the equal punch that the nasty hate ads embodied. Instead, they overwhelmingly ran nicey-nice ads about good neighbors and equality and human dignity.

And so, it wasn’t a shock, really, that the vote wasn’t even close last night. LGBT rights were clobbered, hammered, devastated in the city of Houston by voters, as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was repealed.

Michelangelo goes on to note that the haters opposing Prop 1 were extremely successful in recasting the entire issue as “men” using ladies rooms.

The campaign by LGBT advocates lacked the “bite” that our opponents brought to the fight. We played too nice, mimicking what happened in 2008 in California with Prop 8.

Michelangelo warns of “victory blindness” many seem to be suffering from after years of success bringing marriage equality to the country.

Truly, it is time to shake that off and realize we still have great work to do on behalf of equal rights for LGBTs.

Read the entire essay at Huffington Post.

Houston: Haters Vote Down LGBT Protections Ordinance HERO

In a heartbreaking loss, Houston voters succumbed to dramatic anti-LGBT ads to vote down the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, known as HERO.

Prop. 1, known as Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, would have barred discrimination on the basis of race, age, military status, disability and 11 other categories in a variety of areas. (Religious organizations and institutions would be exempt from the requirements.)

It was HERO’s protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, however, that attracted the most attention and made the ballot measure the center of the LGBT community’s efforts this election.

The Houston City Council narrowly approved the equal rights ordinance last year, but after a petition drive by anti-gay activists, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the city in July to either repeal it or put it on the November ballot — giving each side just a few months to make their case.

Conservative activists — who were heavily outspent by LGBT advocates — dubbed Prop. 1 the “bathroom ordinance” and adopted the slogan “No men in women’s bathrooms,” playing up fears that passage could lead to male sexual predators dressing up as women and entering women’s restrooms.

This factually dishonest message proved to be incredibly effective: Many Houston voters seemed to think the measure was solely about access to restrooms and were unaware of the broader nondiscrimination protections in the measure.

Over 200 American cities have similar LGBT protections in place.

Pat Robertson: God Will Wreck U.S. Financial Markets Over Marriage Equality

I can’t believe I’m quoting former Vice President Dan Quayle, but as he once misquoted the slogan of the United Negro College Fund: “It’s a terrible thing to lose your mind.”

That would seem to be appropriate here after watching Pat Robertson blather on about God’s wrath against financial entities over same-sex marriage today.

The 700 Club’s resident bigot flipped out saying that the United States is becoming Sodom. robertson predicted God will cause financial ruin in America over marriage equality and equal rights for transgender folks.

Via Right Wing Watch:

“Now it’s a constitutional right for sodomites to marry each other,” he lamented, warning that “the wrath of God is revealed against this stuff.” He explained: “I don’t want the wrath of God to hit this country, it’s a great country, I’d like to see America continue strong, but this is one way of weakening it. First of all, we’re going to have this financial collapse. We’re setting up for a massive financial collapse and I think if God is going to hurt this country that’s probably the way he’d do it.”

Can you believe this man was once considered to be a “moral leader?”

Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott Urges Anti-Gay “No” Vote On Houston’s Prop 1

Walking in lockstep with the anti-LGBT haters in Houston, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted the above out this morning.

According to JoeMyGod, there’s a sense that things may not fare well for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance tomorrow at the ballot box.

Apparently, turnout has been heavy in early voting – especially in conservative districts.

If you live in Houston, or know anyone there, make sure you urge them to vote “YES” for Proposition 1.

The vote is tomorrow.

Houston is the fourth largest city in the country.

Houston: Sally Field Calls Out Anti-HERO Campaign “It’s A Lie. It’s A Lie. It’s A Lie. It’s A Lie”

Sally Field (center) with women political leaders in Houston

Speaking with political leaders in Houston this week, Academy Award-winner Sally Field offered her full-throated opinion of the anti-LGBT campaign fighting the city’s equal rights ordinance known as HERO.

“It’s a lie. It’s a lie. It’s a lie. It’s a lie.”

The last few weeks have seen a deluge of TV spots claiming HERO would allow male sex predators to prowl women’s restrooms in order to sexually assault young girls.

“Not a single case of this,” Field said. “Not one single case has ever been reported. And believe me, if it had happened, it would have been reported. Evil lies are evil lies.”

Via Buzzfeed:

BuzzFeed News interviewed more than a dozen voters on the streets of Houston this week. While only a handful had heard of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, all had heard about the “bathroom ordinance.” Several of those voters, having no idea the law on the ballot Tuesday had a wider scope than just restroom use, said they were voting “no” after hearing claims that it would endanger women and children from rapists who lurk in restrooms.

Titled as Proposition 1 on Tuesday’s ballot, HERO bans discrimination against 15 classes of people — including racial minorities, women, people of faith, and LGBT people — in places of housing, employment, and public accommodation. More than 200 jurisdictions in Texas already have LGBT nondiscrimination laws on the books, including many of states largest cities.

President Obama, Vice President Biden & Hillary Clinton Support Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance

Michael Sam Speaks Out In Support Of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance

Pro-footballer Michael Sam speaks out to fair-minded Houstonians to vote “yes” on Proposition 1, protecting the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (#HERO).

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Michael Sam Joins the Call for Houston’s Proposition 1
Football legend Michael Sam is urging fair-minded Houstonians to vote “yes” on Proposition 1, protecting the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (#HERO).Learn more: http://www.hrc.org/preview/blog/michael-sam-joins-the-call-for-houstons-proposition-1 Houston Unites HRC Houston #YesOnProp1
Posted by Human Rights Campaign on Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sally Field Supports Houston’s LGBT Protections Ordinance

In an appearance to show her support for Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), Sally Field took us all back to her iconic, Oscar-winning role as “Norma Rae” holding up a sign of solidarity with the pro-equality community of Houston. Field has an openly gay son.

Today, she will participate in a press conference urging Houstonians to vote “Yes” for the legislation.

The final day of voting for the issue is Tuesday. Polls show a slim lead for the good guys, but too many “Undecided” to be comfortable.

Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S., and the only city of it’s size to not have protections in place for LGBTs.

(h/t JMG)

Julian Castro Urges Houstonians To Vote ‘Yes’ for HERO

HUD Secretary, and former mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro released this message urging Houston voters to support the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), the LGBT protections ordinance currently in early voting.

“Everyone should have a fair opportunity to earn a living, and provide for their families free from the fear of discrimination.”

Castro is often mentioned as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton in 2016.