Anti-LGBT Groups Attack City’s Updated Nondiscrimination OrdinanceÂ â€“Â Dallas Could Be Next Battleground In Transgender ‘Bathroom Wars’
A week after scoring a major victory in Houston, anti-LGBT groups and Republican Texas lawmakers are threatening to try to overturn Dallas’ 13-year-old nondiscrimination ordinance, which the City Council unanimously amended Tuesday to strengthen transgender protections.Â
The Dallas City Council’s vote came just one week after Houston voters overwhelmingly rejected an Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, based largely on the debunked “transgender bathroom myth” â€” with opponents falsely claiming the measure would lead to sexual predators entering women’s restrooms to prey on victims.
In the wake of the Houston vote, LGBT advocates said they feared anti-LGBT groups would attempt to replicate their fear-mongering Houston strategy in other places across the country, and now it appears their first target could be Dallas. However, Dallas has a significantly higher bar than Houston for repealing ordinances by referendum, which would make opponents job that much harder.Â
The anti-LGBT hate group Texas Values, which was part of the anti-HERO campaign, issued a statement Tuesday calling the Dallas ordinanceÂ â€œa threat to safety and freedom.â€Â Texas Values also accused the City Council of fast-tracking amendments to the ordinance, which were added to its agenda on Friday and discussed by a committee in executive session Monday.Â
â€œThis Dallas bathroom ordinance will allow men into womenâ€™s bathrooms and thatâ€™s why the Dallas City Council is deliberately trying to avoid the people,” Texas Values President Jonathan SaenzÂ (photo, left) said. “Their fast track method of passing this dangerous bill that threatens the safety of women and children is the same strategy used in Houston to disenfranchise voters with their failed bathroom bill. Creating law behind closed doors and forcing it onto the people the next morningÂ is a recipe for disaster. These Obama and D.C. style tactics will not work in Texas. Get ready for a Texas-sized response.â€Â
The Texas Pastor Council, which was behind theÂ petition drive andÂ lawsuit to get HERO on the ballot in Houston, said in an email that the ordinance “removes the doors of womenâ€™s restrooms, showers and locker rooms in Dallas, as well as criminalizes businesses, employees as well as eventually, churches who attempt to keep men out.â€
“We will work with Dallas pastors to determine how to appropriately respond to the wholesale catering by City Council to the radical, anti-faith, anti-family agenda of the LGBT Human Rights Campaign,’ said Dave Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council.Â
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (photo, right), who spent $70,000 on a TV ad opposing HERO, called the Dallas council’s vote “mind-boggling and appalling,” accusing officials of putting “political correctness ahead of both common sense and common decency.”Â
“The facts are clear,” Patrick said in a statement. “No woman wants a man to be allowed in a ladies restroom or locker room, no matter the reason. And no man wants his wife, daughter, mother, or sister to be forced byÂ law to contend with such an uncomfortable, disruptive, and potentially dangerous intrusion. This ludicrous ordinance, like the one in Houston, reveals officials who are totally out of touch with Texas values, I have no doubt that if this issue is put to the voters, as opposed to being decided without adequate public notice and discussion, the people of Dallas â€“ like those in Houston â€“ will give it a resounding no.â€
Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, who authored an unsuccessful bill that would have barred Texas cities from enforcing LGBT protections, has launched a petition calling for the repeal of the Dallas ordinance.Â
“The City Council may have acted in good faith believing that this was a tweak or ‘clean-up,’ but I wish they had let voters fully vet the potentially far-reaching ramifications of todayâ€™s policy change,” Huffines wrote on Facebook. “Allowing men in womenâ€™s restrooms â€” and vice versa â€” is a whole-cloth social change that business owners and families will be forced to endure.”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings noted that the ordinance, first approved by the council in a 13-2 vote in 2002, already prohibited discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations. However, gender identity was included under the definition of sexual orientation. The amendments approved Tuesday list gender identity and expression alongside sexual orientation and more clearly define the terms.Â
Rawlings also noted that in 2014, voters approved an amendment to the Dallas charter, by a margin of 77 percent, prohibiting discrimination against LGBT city employees.
“While we respect othersâ€™ points of view, our goal is to protect all of our citizens, including minority groups,” Rawlings said Wednesday.Â “Yesterdayâ€™s unanimous City Council vote did not change the scope of our 13-year-old anti-discrimination ordinance. We took action that is consistent with what our voters approved last year and the protections already afforded to our employees. It is not forthright or honest to minimize this issue to a question about where people relieve themselves.”
Eileen Youens, assistant Dallas city attorney, told The New Civil Rights Movement that to repeal the ordinance, opponents would have to submit an application to the city secretary with the signatures of five registered voters. Then, they’d have 60 days to gather signatures on a petition from 10 percent of the city’s registered voters, or roughly 50,000 people. In Houston, which has roughly twice as many registered voters as Dallas, HERO opponents needed only 17,269 signatures, or 10 percent of those who voted in the last election.Â If opponents gathered enough signatures, the Dallas council would be forced to repeal the ordinance or place it on the ballot in the next general election. Â
â€œI just donâ€™t see them being successful in Dallas,â€ City Councilman Philip Kingston said.Â
Image via FacebookÂ
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Ted Cruz ‘Just Pumped Nonsensical Disinformation Into American Air Waves’: Former FBI Special Agent
During his turn to question Inspector General Michael Horowitz today, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) didn’t really ask many questions, and instead chose to use his time to rant about what he believes are the corrupt origins of the investigation into Russia’s alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.
In a tweet, MSNBC’s Clint Watts wrote that Cruz “just pumped several minutes of nonsensical disinformation into American air waves.”
Senator Cruz just pumped several minutes of nonsensical disinformation into American air waves.
— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) December 11, 2019
Watch Cruz’s rant in the video below:
Lindsey Graham Explodes in Anger Demanding to Know Why FBI ‘Didn’t Tell Trump’ His Campaign Was Under Investigation
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham exploded in anger as he questioned Inspector General Michael Horowitz, demanding to know why the FBI did not notify then-candidate Donald Trump and his campaign in 2016 that they were the subjects of a counterintelligence investigation to determine how Russia was attacking the U.S. and if any members of the Trump campaign were involved.
Chairman Graham appeared to ignore all the signs that Donald Trump and his campaign may have been conspiring with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election, including Trump’s infamous “Russia, if you’re listening” remarks.
The FBI “never made any effort to brief Donald Trump about suspected problems within his campaign,” Graham lamented, again, ignoring the FBI was working to determine if Trump or anyone else was colluding with Russia.
The FBI did warn the Trump campaign Russia was working to undermine the election. Trump appears to have taken that warning as an invitation to an opportunity to win the election rather than to protect the nation.
“Why did they not tell him that” people like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos might be working wirh Russia, Graham asked.
Graham later says, “I hope all of us would appreciate if you really believe there may be somebody in my campaign working with a foreign power, please tell me. Why didn’t they tell Trump?”
Again, the FBI likely had reason to suspect Trump was that somebody.
Despite all this, the RNC opted to immediately post a clip of Graham defending Trump on YouTube and Twitter (below).
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 11, 2019
Watch: Lindsey Graham Falsely Claims FBI Stopped Russia’s Attacks on Clinton Campaign During Election
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham opened up Wednesday morning’s hearing with Inspector General Michael Horowitz by falsely claiming the FBI was able to stop Russia’s attacks against the Hillary Clinton campaign, and suggested it did so early on, well before the November 2016 election.
That’s blatantly false.
Chairman Graham also appeared to imply that the FBI did so merely by contacting the Clinton campaign to warn them of Russia’s actions – and he made that claim to support his false theory that the Bureau should have told the Trump campaign it and its officials were subjects or even targets of a counterintelligence investigation to determine if they were conspiring with Russia to win the election.
“I want the American people to know there was an effort to affect Hillary Clinton’s campaign by foreign actors,” Graham says, not even mentioning Russia. “The FBI picked up that effort, they briefed her about it, and they were able to stop it.”
The FBI has not been able to stop Russian interference and attacks on the U.S. elections, which began according to the consensus of all 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies in 2013, and has to this day have not ended.
Lindsey Graham begins the Horowitz hearing by claiming the FBI was “able to stop” the Russian interference campaign against the Clinton campaign. That’s a lie. pic.twitter.com/fHIT9lQ6Hv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 11, 2019
Former chief DOJ spokesperson Matthew Miller offers this insight:
Lindsey Graham's position is that the FBI should have briefed the guy who publicly invited the Russians to interfere in the election about the fact his campaign was under investigation for working with the Russians to interfere in the election.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) December 11, 2019
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