Tuesday, September 01, 2015

HEROes and haters

The Chron chronicles a thirty-year of history of proud homophobia in Houston city elections (too much alliteration?), and outs the 'Bathroom Caucus' on your ballot in November.

A flurry of candidates opposed to Houston's anti-discrimination ordinance finalized bids for City Council in the waning hours before last Monday's filing deadline, setting the stage for a multi-race campaign against the controversial ballot measure known as HERO.

With the latecomers, the fight to repeal HERO now is poised to extend into all of the at-large and most of the district council races, in addition to the mayor's race.

At first glance, the lineup harkens back to the "Straight Slate" of 1985, when conservative power broker Steven Hotze organized challengers to run against incumbent council members who supported job protections for gays employed by the city.

Dr. Hotze, you haven't evolved a bit since 1985.  That was the year Louie Welch's "shoot the queers" comment went viral without an Internet, and in one night, "Don't Shoot Louie! T-shirts became best-sellers.  Read Mayor Annise Parker's account of the irony of representing the city of Houston (as comptroller at the time) at Welch's funeral in 2008.

"We have been approached by candidates who oppose the bathroom ordinance," said Jared Woodfill, spokesman for the anti-HERO campaign. "And we have encouraged people to run who oppose the bathroom ordinance, as have other organizations who have the same goal of defeating the ordinance."


Of City Council members running for re-election, five oppose the ordinance... They are joined by at least 11 council hopefuls, many of whom launched their bids before it became clear the ordinance would be on the ballot.

Others, such as pastors Willie Davis and Kendall Baker, as well as former teacher Manny Barrera and Siemens sales executive Carl Jarvis, filed to run on the last day.

Emphasis mine.  If you need to reminded why it's important to tax the churches...

Houston Area Pastor Council Director Dave Welch, who is helping to run the anti-HERO campaign's church-based efforts to rally voters against the law, said his group does not "officially enlist or recruit candidates."

He added, however, that he did broadly encourage those active in the church to seek office.

"In general, we encourage people to run for office and be politically involved," Welch said. "It's pretty hard to have a good government if you don't have good people in government. (HERO) certainly, it certainly provided an inspiration and motivation for some of the folks in our churches to run."

It reminds me of Ken Paxton's brethren and sisteren asking their local TeaBagger sheriff candidate why more lethal force is not used at the border.  But that's a digression.

You should go and finish Rebecca Elliott's and Kat Driessen's article; Chron municipal election coverage scores a D- in my gradebook, but the blind hog found a few acorns in this piece.  Nothing against the two reporters; responsibility for the newspaper's continued failure to cover local news adequately rests higher up the Hearst food chain (another digression).

Just note the names in bold above, and ask the question every chance you get of any candidate: "Do you support or oppose the equal rights ordinance?"  Everybody running for office needs to be on the record.

Texas Leftist posts the map and the list of all the American cities that have similar ordinances on the books (dozens) and the instances where a transgendered woman assaulted someone in a bathroom (not once).  And TransGriot reminds us about the potential economic losses associated with repealing the ordinance, which reminds me that it's time to remind you to sign this petition.

No comments: