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  • Houston Voters Strike Down LGBT, Transgender Discrimination Law

    Houston residents struck down an LGBT anti-discrimination measure Tuesday that critics said could be twisted to allow men to use women’s restrooms. The measure was to prohibit the discrimination of people based on their sexuality and gender, but critics said refusing to let people use certain bathrooms based on their gender would land them in legal trouble under the new rule.

    The city council originally passed the Equal Rights Ordinance in May of 2014, but the Texas Supreme Court ruled in July that the decision must be put up for a ballot vote, making the Equal Rights Ordinance Proposition 1 this November and the source of a fiery campaign.

    Opponents of the measure have argued that it would allow men, even sex offenders, to go into women’s restrooms simply because they identified as a woman that day. They say if a business tried to stop them, they could be fined for discriminating against that person. The ad below sums up the fierce campaign to stop the measure.

    WATCH: 

    “Proposition 1 is about a lot more than even bathrooms,” The Faith Family Freedom Fund said in a statement. “It’s about criminalizing religious liberty. The ordinance also gives the government new grounds to impose punishing fines on bakers, florists, planners, musicians and others who refuse to yield their religious beliefs to this new morality.”

    Texas is one of 28 states that do not have a LGBT nondiscrimination law. Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio currently nondiscrimination policies in place.

    Now that LGBT activists have won the marriage battle with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, they have largely turned their attention to the discrimination fights, which vary depending on laws across the country.

    The city’s dispute drew national attention when news broke that Houston’s lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, subpoenaed sermons from local pastors in relation to the fight. She later withdrew the subpoenas.

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbot Tweeted his opposition to Proposition 1 Monday, but prominent Democrats Hillary Clinton and even the White House have voiced their support for the measure.

    No one should face discrimination for who they are or who they love—I support efforts for equality in Houston & beyond. #HERO #YesOnProp1 -H

    — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 29, 2015

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