Houston goes to the polls on ‘vital’ LGBT rights law
The city of Houston has gone to the polls in a landmark vote on an LGBT rights law.
The Texas city has faced a protracted battle over the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance – which provides basic protections for LGBT workers.
A ballot on the law will be held tomorrow, but opponents have scaremongered over provisions for trans people – claiming in eleciton ads that the law will let sex offenders into women’s bathrooms.
The claims have provoked passionate defences from supporters of the law, with actress Sally Field giving an animated rebuttal.
She told reporters: “It is a lie, it’s a lie, it’s a lie, it’s a lie, and that is all there is to it”.
The law is crucial as there is no federal or state law providing workers with protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexuality – leaving HERO as the only line of defence for LGBT Houstonians.
Pro-HERO campaign Houston Unites explained: “At its core, Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is about affording local protections against discrimination to everyone who calls our city home.
“A Yes vote on Proposition 1 today is a vote to ensure that the future of our city is one in which all Houstonians are treated fairly and equally under the law.”
As the city goes to the polls, local media sources suggest a large turnout – but it is unclear which way the vote will swing.
At the final event for the Houston Unites campaign in favour of the law, Rabbi Joshua Herman told reporters: “The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance will ensure every Houstonian is protected from discrimination, regardless of their faith, race, age, gender and more,”
However, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott took the opportunity to attack Hillary Clinton, who has backed the law, by coming out against.
He urged supporters:”HOUSTON: Vote Texas values, not Hillary Clinton values. Vote NO on City of Houston Proposition 1. No men in women’s bathrooms.”