Late last week, the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board publicly endorsed a “yes” vote on Proposition 1 to uphold the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance this upcoming election day, November 3rd.
The paper published an editorial last Friday that fiercely challenged opponents of the Equal Rights Ordinance, writing “for opponents, facts are irrelevant.” The Editorial Board goes on to call for a fair debate of the ordinance that is based in facts.
The opposition has been referring to Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance as a “bathroom bill” and pushing the idea that it would put women and children in danger in public restrooms. This assumption is simply unfounded.
Houston Unites campaign manager Richard Carlbom told the Chronicle:
Nothing in the equal rights ordinance changes the fact that it is – and always will be – illegal to enter a restroom to harm or harass other people.
The Editorial Board underscores that in the seventeen states that have gay and transgender inclusive non-discrimination laws, there are no reports or evidence of the kind of abuse or assaults that Equal Rights Ordinance opponents predict. It reads:
The opponents know they cannot come up with reports of transgender women assaulting anyone in public bathrooms after the passage of anti-discrimination ordinances. They don’t exist.
Endorsement from the Editorial Board came shortly after three local business and hospitality groups announced their support of the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance saying the Houston’s economy could take a hit if it is repealed.
A statement from the Greater Houston Partnership, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Hotel and Lodging Association of Greater Houston, read:
Discrimination of any kind is not a Houston value; it’s bad for the people of our city and it’s bad for our economy.
Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance protects all Houstonians from discrimination in fifteen classes ranging race, gender, military status, sexual orientation and gender identity – amongst others. If the ordinance were repealed, Houston would have no explicit protections against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations like restaurants, shopping malls or stadiums.