Houston: from HERO to ZERO

Anyone know a veteran? What about a woman who’s pregnant? Any elderly persons in your family? A friend or family member who identifies as LGBT? Well, Houston just shat on all of them. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) went down in flames thanks to ignorance, fear, and hate.

What is it about equality that scares people? Is it that since you’ve been enjoying your first-class citizenship for so long, you’re entirely uncomfortable with sharing equal ground with those who haven’t been so fortunate? Do you completely lack empathy? What if it were you on the other side? Should not every human being have the same rights as every other?

I know that this loss is merely a stumbling block, but nevertheless it’s disappointing. Houston is the largest city in the country without an equal rights ordinance. Houston is also the most diverse city in the country, yet condemning those diverse citizens to remain second-class is apparently higher on the priority list than improving well-being for all.

Opponents of HERO brashly and deceitfully labeled it as nothing more than a “bathroom bill.” Their fear was that, if passed, HERO would allow any man to follow a woman into their bathroom to assault them, just by claiming that he is a woman that day. The fact that that’s what they understand about how gender identity works or how similar equal rights ordinances have worked out in other larger cities (hint: no bathroom shenanigans of the sort, ever) should tell you enough about their completely misguided position on the issue.

HERO sought to protect our veterans, pregnant women, LGBT, elderly, disabled, and others from discrimination. Unfortunately, this equality is put on hold for now, but it’s only a matter of time till reason prevails.

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