Two new videos take aim at the movers and shakers who led the opposition to Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance, which would have protected LGBT people and many others from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations.
The so-called "Hate Slate" is the focus of the first of the videos released this week, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.They include Jared Woodfill, an attorney who's currently defending a man being sued for secretly photographing women in the bathroom; Rev. Kendall Baker, who was fired by the city for sexual harassment, and Dr. Steve Hotze, a conservative Republican who once devoted an entire press conference to anal sex due to his fears of marriage equality. Also featured is Pastor Ed Young, whom the video claims hired a youth minister who was a sexual predator at his Second Baptist Church.
To defeat the ordinance these men used the provably false claim that allowing transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity would allow "men in women's restrooms" and harass women and children.
Though the ordinance, passed by the City Council in 2014, was repealed by voters November 3, Houston's right-wing political groups are still hoping to ride the coattails of trans panic to the next ballot, urging voters to vote for conservative candidates in the December 12 runoff election for mayor and other city offices. The videos, which are an attempt to counter the right's efforts, are financed by an offshoot of the pro-HERO coalition, Houston Unites, the Chronicle reports.
Texas is one of more than 20 states without a law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Several major cities and counties in the state have passed LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, but Houston, a city with an out lesbian mayor, has no such protections now due to the repeal vote. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, by the way, is leaving office due to term limits.
Watch the video about the "Hate Slate" below.