Back in August, before any votes in the November elections were cast, Texas Leftist had a prediction. Or maybe better to just call it an observation…
The “Vote NO!” arena has already been tested, and victorious. Last fall, theUS Pastor Council produced a battle to defeat the Non-Discrimination Ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and won that battle with 53 percent of the vote. Repeal 119 was one of the “test markets” for persecution of local non-discrimination ordinances across the United States. Make no mistake… this is a national fight against equal rights, with Houston currently taking center stage.
If anyone had even the slightest doubt that the fight for Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance wasn’t an indicator of battles to come, this week should put those doubts to rest. Empowered by the spoils of victory, the Equality opponents have revealed their next target.
Here’s the story from Katherine Driessen of the Houston Chronicle…
Fresh off defeating Houston’s equal rights ordinance by stoking fears about men using women’s restrooms, local conservative activists are looking to take the battle to Dallas.
The Dallas City Council this week updated its non-discrimination law to more explicitly include protections for transgender residents, a move that already is sparking much the same opposition rhetoric that engulfed Houston’s law.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has blasted Houston’s ordinance, quickly jumped into the fray, issuing a statement: “This ludicrous ordinance, like the one in Houston, reveals officials who are totally out of touch with Texas values.”
In Houston, conservative activist Jared Woodfill said the same core group that helped defeat the ordinance here 61 percent to 39 percent will deploy similar tactics in Dallas and seek to force a repeal referendum. Woodfill’s group will help collect signatures, send letters to Dallas City Council and organize with local conservatives.
Woodfill and fellow conservatives hammered a message in Houston that the gender identity provision of the equal rights law would allegedly allow men to use women’s restrooms. Though supporters of the law said that was false and tried to broaden the conversation to include the 14 other classes protected in housing, employment and public accommodations, opponents’ tactics won out.
Though Driessen chooses to focus on Jared Woodfill, the former Harris County GOP chair who has found new political relevance through the Anti-Equality movement, it’s important to note that the real muscle in this fight lies with the Houston Area/Texas/U.S. Pastor Council, or whatever they choose to call themselves on a particular day. Woodfill certainly offers a public face and some political contacts, but the money to fund these hateful and hate-filled campaigns is being raised by USPC congregants and their world-wide network of supporters. And thanks to a perilous court decision by the Fifth Circuit giving churches license to do whatever they want in politics without consequence or sanction, the hate campaign is about to reach levels previously unforseen.
From the assessment of most political analysts, defeating equality measures in Dallas would be a much tougher fight than what occurred in Houston. For one thing, the city has had transgender protections since 2002, and in all that time there have been zero incidents of malicious activity in restrooms like the LIES the opposition have described.
Because, you know… a LIE is STILL a LIE. No matter how many ways you present it.
It’s also important to remember some basic facts about Dallas when compared to Houston. Though the two metropolitan areas are of similar size, actual city boundaries are quite different. Where Houston’s city limits sprawl across much of the metro, Dallas is half the size and walled in by some of the country’s largest and most powerful suburbs. It would be like taking the city of Houston, and chopping off several of the most conservative strongholds.
But all of the logic, reasoning and truth talking… well, we already know how much the other side cares about that. Dallas needs to know that in the reality of today’s pathetic voter turnout, anything is possible.
Y’all get ready for a fight.
Off the Kuff has more.