Last year, the Houston City Council passed a measure called the Equal Rights Ordinance by a vote of 11 to 6. The council removed from the final version a section that would have allowed men pretending to be women to use women’s restrooms. The possibility remained, however, that the government would still force the issue if the ordinance passed.
The very thought of such a thing was a step too far even for an electorate that put a lesbian mayor in office for three terms. Last night, Houston voters rejected the so-called non-discrimination ordinance, which would have given special rights to homosexuals and men pretending to be women — by a wide margin. From the Houston Chronicle:
The ordinance bans discrimination based not just on gender identity and sexual orientation, but also 13 classes already protected under federal law: sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status.
Businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing and city contracting are all subject to the law and face up to $5,000 in fines for violations. Religious institutions, however, are exempt. The ordinance was in effect for only three months between extensive legal challenges.
If the ordinance had passed, Christian-owned businesses could have been fined for barring men from using women’s restrooms. The same businesses would have been breaking the law had they refused to hire a “transgender” man. About three percent of the U.S. population is homosexual. This tiny group has convinced the government to infringe on our enumerated rights to free speech, religion, and association to accommodate them.
Why do their feelings count more than women’s modesty, privacy, and safety? How does a “transgender” man’s discomfort using the men’s restroom trump a woman’s discomfort sharing intimate facilities with men?
After a group of pastors challenged the ordinance on the grounds that it violated the city charter, the Texas Defense of Marriage Act, and the state constitution, Mayor Annise Parker ordered them to turn over sermons that mentioned homosexuality. The pastors sued, and she withdrew the order. The mayor also attempted to force taxpayers to provide spousal benefits to homosexuals “married” in different states, despite voters barring such a policy through a charter amendment in 2001. A court temporarily blocked the city from enforcing it.
Last July, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the city to either repeal the ordinance by August 24 or allow the people to vote on it in November. And the voters made their decision. But expect the homosexual lobby to challenge the will of the people.