Houston Unites Airs First Campaign Ad

Ad addresses bathroom concerns while re-focusing HERO discussion on religious values

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2015

Contacts:
Kevin Nix, Director of Communications, Houston Unites | Kevin(at)Houstonunites.org
Anna Núñez | Anna(at)Houstonunites.org

HOUSTON – Houston Unites released its first radio ad today featuring Rev. Dr. Will Reed, pastor at Servants of Christ United Methodist Church, supporting Proposition – the equal rights ordinance on the November ballot. In the 60-second ad, Pastor Reed sets the record straight on privacy concerns and emphasizes the need to have a local tool that protects all Houstonians from discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender and more.

“As Christians, my wife and I believe in treating others the way we want to be treated, that’s what we’ve taught our children,” Pastor Reed says in the ad as to why he backs Proposition 1. “We’re hearing about HERO – Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, and concerns some have raised about privacy in public bathrooms. What’s being lost is that it’s ALREADY illegal to go into a bathroom to harm or harass someone. This law won’t change that.”

According to the City of Houston’s Office of Inspector General, more than half (54 percent) of the complaints filed in Houston while the equal rights ordinance was on the books were related to racial discrimination, with another 17 percent based on gender or pregnancy discrimination.

Earlier this week, the City Council approved final language for the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance on the November ballot. A “yes” on Proposition 1 is for the keeping of equal rights law on the books.

The ad airs for at least two weeks on KHMX-FM, KKBQ/KTHT-FM, KODA-FM, KPRC-AM, KTRH-AM, RODA-FM, and RTRH-AM and can be heard here.

“Pastor Reed makes clear that the Equal Rights Ordinance includes all Houstonians, no matter one’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or pregnancy,” said Fran Watson, faith outreach director for Houston Unites. “Most of us in this city want to treat everyone fairly and equally and voting ‘yes’ on Prop 1 is a way to do just that.”

A full transcript of the ad follows:

REV WILL REED: I’m Rev Dr. Will Reed. As Christians, my wife and I believe in treating others the way we want to be treated, that’s what we’ve taught our children.

Recently, we’re hearing about HERO – Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, and concerns some have raised about privacy in public bathrooms.

What’s being lost is that it’s ALREADY illegal to go into a bathroom to harm or harass someone. This law won’t change that.

We looked into it, and HERO is actually about providing a needed local tool to protect Houstonians from discrimination based on their race, religion, age, gender, military status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

And Houston is the only major city in Texas without these protections against discrimination in jobs, housing and public places.

In most cases, without local protections, Houstonians literally have to make a federal case out of it to get legal help with discrimination.

That’s why we’re voting ‘yes’ on one, to keep Houston’s equal rights ordinance.

We’re all God’s children and we should all be protected from discrimination.

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Houston Unites is the coalition working to elevate the diversity of voices supporting HERO. The leading coalition partners include: ACLU of TexasEquality TexasFreedom For All AmericansHuman Rights CampaignNAACP Houston Branch and Texas Freedom Network.

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