Houston Chronicle Editorial Calls Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s Anti-HERO Ads “Cheap Political Opportunism”

In yesterday’s op-ed, the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board blasted the Lt. Gov. of Texas, Dan Patrick, for his TV ad campaign aimed at overturning Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).

The op-ed posits that the Lieutenant Governor’s true motivation is ‘mending political fences’—namely with tea partiers who helped elect him to public office—and goes on to call for a YES vote on Proposition 1.

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The singular talking point of Proposition 1 opponents like Lt. Gov. Patrick—who has invested campaign money in anti-HERO TV ad buys and is now running his own inflammatory ad on Fox News—is that Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance puts women and children’s safety at risk in public restrooms.

This is simply false. Proposition 1 is not a defense against harassing or harming people in public restrooms. Moreover, of the 17 states and over 200 cities across America with equal rights ordinances on the books, not a single one has reported a public safety incident in restrooms.

And, as the Houston Chronicle op-ed points out, the Lt. Gov. knows this:

As a statewide elected official [Dan Patrick is] well aware that nine other Texas cities with populations of 100,000 or more provide their residents with the protections afforded by an equal rights ordinance similar to Houston’s. He’s also aware that not one of those cities – we repeat, not one – has experienced any problems with transgender women lurking in bathrooms waiting to attack little boys or girls.

Opponents of Proposition 1 have entirely ignored the value of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance in fighting discrimination on the basis of race, gender, military or disability status and 11 other protected classes. The op-ed quotes our very own campaign manager, Richard Carlbom, who gets right to the heart of the matter, saying:

The lieutenant governor must know it’s illegal now – and will always be – to enter the wrong restroom. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance doesn’t change that. What’s shocking is that funders of those opposed to the equal rights ordinance want to roll back protections – in 2015 – of African-Americans, veterans, women and many other Houstonians.

With less than 2 weeks until the final ballots are cast on Proposition 1, HERO’s opposition is showing no signs of slowing their efforts to overturn non-discrimination protections in Houston. To support the campaign to defend HERO and protect Houstonians from discrimination, click here to donate.