The nation's fourth-largest city, Houston, will decide Tuesday whether to offer protections in employment, housing, and public accomodations to its minority citizens — and some famous politicians, athletes, and entertainers are encouraging them to vote yes.
The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance — the City Council passed it last year only to be ordered by the Texas Supreme Court to either rescind it or put it to voters — has divided the city, mostly because opponents have framed it as a "bathroom bill" allowing male predators to attack women in public restrooms (in reality, it will allow trans people to use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, among other things). But the fight to protect women, racial minorities, gays, transgender people, and more is getting some prominent backers.
None other than former Secretary of State and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighed in, sending the following tweet about HERO, which is on the ballot as Proposition 1.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 29, 2015
Going even further was Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field, who's the proud mother of a gay son. Field appeared in Houston with female political leaders and activists, urging Houstonians to vote yes on HERO. Field debunked the opposition's claims that the ordinance would enable sexual assault.
“Not a single case of this [has occurred],” Field said, according to BuzzFeed. “Not one single case has ever been reported. And believe me, if it had happened, it would have been reported. Evil lies are evil lies.”
Field even held up a HERO sign that recalled the famous image from her acclaimed pro-union movie Norma Rae.
Meanwhile, Texas-raised Michael Sam, the first openly gay athlete drafted by the NFL, filmed a video for the Human Rights Campaign in support of HERO.
Sam was joined by other athletes in supporting the ordinance.
Now the important part is to make sure #HERO gets passed, and a whole host of people receive the protections others take for granted.
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) October 23, 2015
— Gregory Louganis (@greglouganis) October 22, 2015
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) October 22, 2015
Out actor Matthew Bomer of American Horror Story: Hotel penned an email for HRC in support of HERO:
“The messages being broadcast across Houston attacking LGBT people in an attempt to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) go beyond misleading – they're horrifying. These malicious ads, funded with a lot of money from anti-equality opponents, slander innocent people with slogans like 'no men in women's bathrooms' and imply transgender Houstonians want non-discrimination protections as a means to abuse children.”
Bomer was joined by fellow actors including Eva Longoria, Matthew Morrison, and gay Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson in supporting HERO.
Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that resulted in nationwide marriage equality, tweeted in support of HERO as well.
— Jim Obergefell (@JimObergefell) October 28, 2015