This was a bill that would have provided protections from discrimination to the transgender and gay citizens of Houston. The bill also offered protections against discrimination on race, age, sex and religion.
On the ballot as proposition 1 the law was voted down 61% to 39%. Dubbed the “Bathroom Bill” by it’s detractors, it was followed by a campaign to scare voters as they were told the bill would allow sexual predators access to the women’s restroom.
“THIS WAS A CAMPAIGN OF FEAR-MONGERING AND DELIBERATE LIES. NO ONE’S RIGHTS SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO A POPULAR VOTE.” – HOUSTON MAYOR ANNISE PARKER
In a report from CBS News/AP Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker a member of the gay community herself, expressed her disappointment in the results after 18 months of hard fought battles to end discrimination in her city. “This was a campaign of fear-mongering and deliberate lies,” Parker said, according to CBS affiliate KHOU. “No one’s rights should be subject to a popular vote.”
The ordinance was fought by Campaign for Houston, led by pastors of many denominations, local politicians and championed by former Major League Baseball player Lance Berkman. Berkman took part in anti-tolerance ads placed by the organization. He also publicly declared how he was tired of tolerance. Mayor Parker took to twitter to respond to Berkman.
Mayor Parker also expressed her concern that as a result of this vote Houston will lose business and many groups are already starting to boycott the city. The city is also up for bid for the 2017 NFL Superbowl.