Houston voters went to the polls today and - if early results don't dramatically change - decided equality should not win.
Despite expanding and ensuring protections for many groups of people, it looks like voters have decided to not let HERO, Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance, pass. The measure is currently failing, and by a wide 2-1 margin.
Stay with The New Civil Rights Movement for the final results on HERO
Opposed to the ordinance have been groups of Christian pastors and preachers, anti-gay hate groups, so-called "pro-family" organizations, Republicans, and Christian conservatives, all of whom engaged in campaigns of lies and deceit.
Ads on radio and television, and memes on social media warned Houstonians that men would be legally allowed to enter women's restrooms and locker rooms whenever they felt like it, which is false. The ads suggestively showed men entered women's restrooms, following young girls, suggesting transgender people are pedophiles.
It was clear as soon as exit polls began to come in that HERO likely will not pass:
â€” Jordan Rudner (@jrud) November 4, 2015
â€” Edward Perkins (@ezperkins) November 4, 2015
â€” Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) November 4, 2015
HERO would offer protections for veterans, pregnant women, the disabled, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and outlawed discrimination based on religion, age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
Despite that wide swath of protections, the anti-LGBT religious right campaigned against the ordinance as a "bathroom bill," and nothing more. The level of deceit has been historic.
Coming out to support HERO have been dozens of celebrities and LGBT icons, including Sally Field, Michael Sam, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, George Takei, Adam Bouska, Chris Kluwe, Jason Collins, Dustin Lance Black, Cecile Richards, Matt Boomer, Jim Parsons, and many more.
Houston, should HERO fail, will remain the fourth largest city in America, and the largest city in America that does not have a nondiscrimination ordinance.
Already LGBT activists are calling for a boycott and an "autopsy" to determine how it failed - assuming it did.
â€” ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) November 4, 2015
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