With just one week until the polls open for early voting, the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board published its second endorsement of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) in less than one month.
Yesterday’s editorial tackles exactly what HERO is—and what it isn’t, wasting no time in characterizing the message of HERO’s opposition as “outrights lies.”
The Board goes on to write:
HERO is about two vital issues: anti-discrimination and the health of the local economy.
In their haste to demonize the LGBT community, however, the most extreme opponents of the ordinance have ignored pregnant women, the disabled, minorities, military veterans and others in this community who may be victims of discrimination.
Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance protects Houstonians across 15 different classes from discrimination in housing, employment or public spaces like restaurants, hotels, and shopping malls.
Now, HERO is up for public vote this election and if it is repealed, Houstonians will no longer have a local tool for dealing with discrimination claims. The first in-person votes on Proposition 1 – the ballot initiative to uphold HERO – will be cast next Monday when early voting commences.
The Editorial Board echoes significant concerns from the business community if Houston loses its non-discrimination ordinance, warning:
If the ordinance is repealed, our local economy is likely to suffer. Repeal would undercut our rapidly growing reputation for openness and appreciation for diversity. The result would be a loss of jobs when conventions and big-time sporting events like the Super Bowl decide to go elsewhere, when corporations conclude that Houston may not be all that interested in nurturing a diverse workforce, when talented young people get the impression that Houston is stuck in the past.
Discrimination is bad for business.
Yesterday’s editorial comes just days after five prominent businesses and GOP leaders hosted a press conference to announce their support of HERO, saying Houston’s reputation on the national and international stage is at stake.
Public support of Houston’s non-discrimination ordinance continues to mount, but recent opposition investment in TV ad buys poses serious threat to HERO with only seven days until the first ballots on Proposition 1 are cast.
Donate before Thursday at midnight at the ACLU of Texas will double your gift. Every dollar will help us run more TV ads and reach more voters to combat our opponents’ lies and secure a win for HERO at the polls.