Mayor Annise Parker and Houston Diversity and Political Co-Chair Lou Weaver held a joint press conference to announce their intention to fight to protect HERO - the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.
Mayor Annise Parker fought to pass Houston's equal rights ordinance and now she has vowed to fight to keep it. To that end, she has assembled the Equal Rights Houston Committee, a coalition that includes city leaders, Equality Texas, ACLU-Texas, Houston GLBT Political Caucus, Log Cabin Republicans, Out & Equal, Texas Freedom Network and Texans Together.
The Human Rights Campaign announced on their blog that they will also be part of the group formed to defend Houston's new civil rights law, known as HERO.
From HRC's blog:
The Equal Rights Houston Committee, representing a broad coalition of businesses, faith leaders, community organizations, teachers, medical professionals, public safety leaders, elected leaders and neighbors across Houston, announced its intention today to defend Houston’s landmark Equal Rights Ordinance against an attempt by opponents to repeal it.
Opponents of HERO, who call themselves the Unequal Rights Coalition, have been waging a "scare campaign", suggesting that the part of the ordinance that allows transgender people to use the bathroom for the gender with which they identify, will allow pedophiles to troll the city's ladies rooms looking for kids to abuse. Using the "bathroom boogeyman", Republicans began collecting signatures for a referendum on HERO almost before the ink was dry on Mayor Annise Parker's signature on May 28. Thursday, they delivered the signatures they needed to put HERO on November's ballot - and then some.
It was in response to this challenge by the Unequal Rights Coalition that Mayor Parker announced the formation of the Equal Rights Houston Committee, which will work in both the legal arena and to educate and inform the public of the true nature of the bill.
Where are you Wendy Davis? We could really use you now.