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Trailing In Polls, Houston Equal Rights Opponents Continue Desperate Anti-LGBT Ad Campaign

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Equal Rights Fight Heats Up Houston As Early Voting Begins

Trailing in the polls as early voting begins, opponents of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance are continuing a barrage of seemingly desperate anti-LGBT ads promoting the transgender bathroom myth, which was thoroughly debunked yet again by Media Matters last week. 

The anti-LGBT organization Texas Values Action released a cartoon-style ad Monday depicting a hypothetical Houston gym owner — presumably the group couldn’t find a real one — who’d be required to open female restrooms to transgender women if the ordinance passes. (The ad, which includes recycled clips from this 2012 series, currently has 1 Like and 35 Dislikes on YouTube.)

“It is critical for the future of Texas, and for our nation, that we defeat Houston Mayor Parker’s Proposition 1 Bathroom Ordinance,” Texas Values Action President Jonathan Saenz wrote in an email above the ad.Houston’s Proposition 1 would allow biological men to enter women’s bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms and then would criminalize local business owners and organizations who simply insist that people use the bathrooms that correlate to their biological gender.” 

The Texas Values ad reportedly was paid for in part by Citizenlink, the public policy partner of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. And Saenz, of course, is best known in LGBT circles for the fact that his wife left him for a woman in 2012. 

In any case, the coalition supporting the ordinance, Houston Unites, countered Monday with statements in support of HERO from an African-American newspaper, a national veterans group, the AARP and the Greater Houston Partnership, which is the local chamber of commerce. 

Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran and chairman of VoteVets.org, ripped NFL team owner Bob McNair. McNair owns the Houston Texans and last week contributed $10,000 to HERO opponents. In addition to sexual orientation and gender identity, the ordinance would prohibit discrimination based on 13 other categories, including veterans’ status, in employment, housing and public accommodations. 

“It’s beyond the pale that conservative donor Bob McNair is funding efforts in Houston to take away protections for veterans,” Soltz said. “We would remind Mr. McNair that it is veterans in Houston and around the country who have made the ultimate sacrifice and should not be discriminated against in employment when they come home. … Supporting our veterans means more than just bringing them out on the field before a football game.”

HERO opponents seized upon McNair’s contribution in an effort to counter the argument that voting down the ordinance could cost Houston the 2017 Super Bowl. 

“The HERO supporters have tried to scare people into believing that we would lose the Super Bowl,” former Harris County GOP chair Jared Woodfill told The Houston Chronicle. “Obviously, if there were any truth behind that, Bob McNair wouldn’t be donating to the folks that are opposed to the ordinance.”

McNair, a billionaire and frequent GOP donor, told the newspaper he believes the ordinance has become too divisive, and should be rewritten and submitted to voters next year. However, when it comes to the city’s major financial power brokers, McNair finds himself increasingly in the minority. 

Last week, 44 Houston business leaders signed a full-page ad (below) supporting the ordinance from the Greater Houston Partnership that appeared in the Chronicle. They included representatives from United Airlines, BBVA Compass, the Houston Association of Realtors, JP Morgan Chase, UnitedHealthCare, Rice University and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. The ad followed an op-ed in support of the ordinance published earlier in the week by the vice president of Dow Chemical Co.

Meanwhile, a third consecutive poll found that a majority of voters say they plan to support the ordinance. The poll from KPRC 2 News found that 45 percent of respondents back Prop 1, 36 percent oppose it, and 20 percent are undecided.

 

Image: Screenshot via Texas Values Action/YouTube

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ANALYSIS

‘Basically Game Over’: Legal Experts Say SCOTUS Likely to Gut Abortion – and There’s a ‘Lot More on the Chopping Block’

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Legal experts are weighing in after listening to Wednesday morning’s Supreme Court oral arguments on abortion, and they’re almost entirely certain the 6-3 conservative majority will gut Roe v. Wade – the only question is how much.

Bloomberg News Supreme Court reporter says there’s no question that the Supreme Court “seem poised to slash abortion rights” and maybe worse.

Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern predicts that, in his opinion, basically by the end of next year – six months after the Supreme Court hands down its decision in today’s case – half the states across the country will have abortion bans in place.

To those who say women can just travel to a state that doesn’t ban abortion, University of California, Irvine School of Law law and political science professor and election law expert Rick Hasen offers this question:

And Hasen made clear it won’t stop there.

He says, “it won’t end with overturning Roe and allowing guns outside the home. There’s a lot more on the chopping block coming in terms of voting rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental protection, immigration, and more. Decades of work by the conservative legal movement is paying off.”

NYU law professor Melissa Murray agrees it’s not just about abortion.

Stern observes this one “question from Amy Coney Barrett is basically game over for Roe.” The far right wing faith-based justice says now that women can simply give up a child for adoption after giving birth means there’s no reason to not ban abortion.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

AOC Slams McCarthy and His GOP ‘Ku Klux Klan Caucus’ for Allowing ‘Violent Targeting’ of Women of Color in Congress

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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is criticizing House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for refusing to deal with the members of his “Ku Klux Klan” caucus who are ignoring and allowing the “violent targeting” of women of color members of Congress.

The Democratic Congresswoman from New York, herself the frequent target of violent threats, pointed to this video of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar playing a death threat received after she was targeted by GOP Congresswoman Lauren Boebert:

“People truly don’t understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats targeting” Congresswoman Omar, Ocasio-Cortez says.

“Kevin McCarthy is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of woc members of Congress. This cannot be ignored,” she warns.

Congresswoman Boebert over the past week was exposed – on video – suggesting Rep. Omar is a terrorist three times, including in one video she herself posted to social media.

McCarthy has refused to take any action against Boebert.

 

 

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'BLAZING POSITIVE'

‘Massive, Dangerous, Likely Intentional’: Immunologist Blasts Trump for Ignoring Positive COVID Test Before Biden Debate

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A Harvard epidemiologist, immunologist and physician is blasting Donald Trump‘s decision to continue his activities as normal in September 2020, not go public with the results of his positive COVID test result, and continue business as usual – including participating in a debate against Joe Biden – revelations made in a new book by Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday.

Dr. Michael Mina says if Trump had been given a rapid COVID test the day of the first presidential debate against Joe Biden, President Trump “would have been blazing positive,” and calls the decision to not test “massive, dangerous and likely intentional.”

“The decision to continue to not test on [the] day of the Rose Garden superspreader event and on [the] day of the debate with now @POTUS Biden was a massive, dangerous and likely intentional decision,” says Michael Mina, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“Was Trump the superspreader? For a year, I’ve suggested Trump was the likely superspreader at White House Rose Garden on 9/28/20,” Mina posits. “All were supposedly tested, so how would a superspreader enter? Now we know Trump tested COVID positive 2 days earlier.”

Citing Meadows’ new book, The Guardian reported Wednesday morning that Trump tested positive on Sept. 26, and shortly thereafter, before the Sept. 29 presidential debate, tested negative – but three days after the debate, on Oct. 2, again tested positive, and was rushed to Walter Reed hospital hours later.

Because Trump “was testing so frequently, he was [likely] detected using a molecular test at the earliest time, before becoming infectious,” says Mina.

“So when he immediately tested again with a rapid Ag test, it did not yet register positive because he was not YET infectious,” Mina explains. “Had he used a rapid test later that day or next day though, once he was becoming slightly infectious, he almost certainly would have been positive.”

 

 

 

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