As it is an election year, Democrats are excited and are under the impression that this will be the year they will take over the government and get America on a forward-looking path. However, there was an election on Tuesday that was a portent of the general election producing the same results as every state and regional election; evangelical Republicans succeeded when it appeared their power was waning. Despite a Constitution that guarantees all Americans equal rights and protection from discrimination, voters in Houston Texas, the fourth largest city in America, voted to delete a non-discrimination ordinance and fundamentally legalize discrimination against several demographics.
Just in case any decent American believes the 14th Amendment guarantees all Americans equal protections under the law of the land, they must remember that it is the Amendment above all others that Republicans and evangelicals detest because it guarantees every American equal protections and rights under the law. If anyone wonders why Houston voters rejected equal rights and protection from discrimination for all Texans, the state’s Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) clarified what drove voters to reject equal rights for all Houston residents.
Preacher Patrick said the initiative,
“Was about protecting our grandmoms, and our mothers and our wives and our sisters and our daughters and our granddaughters. I’m glad Houston led tonight to end this constant political-correctness attack on what we know in our heart and our gut as Americans is not right.”
Patrick is wrong, a dirty liar, and he knows it. They think they know what is right as extremist evangelical Republicans; not Americans. Actual Americans who are not evangelical bigots know what is “right in their hearts and guts” is the U.S. Constitution’s protections against discrimination. What Patrick claims reveals he is an evangelical extremist; not an American devoted to the Constitution.
Although the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) protected 15 separate demographics from discrimination, the opposition singled-out transgender women for the basis of their expensive fear-mongering campaign. It is curious that Houston-area evangelical Republicans pushed the rejection of a non-discrimination ordinance solely due to “peeping transgender” people; particularly when in the entire United States transgender people only make up less than 0.3% of the population.
Patrick, a seriously deranged evangelical malcontent, focused on the fear-mongering campaign of anti-Constitution evangelicals warning residents that transgender people supported last May’s non-discrimination ordinance to gain access to women’s restrooms. The preachers and Republicans claimed transgender women love the non-discrimination law because it gives them power to sneak a peek at poor persecuted Texas evangelicals’ “grandmoms, and mothers and wives and sisters and daughters and granddaughters.”
In fact, evangelical Republicans were successful in their bid to wipe out “political correctness,” and assert what they know is right in their guts and hearts by legalizing discrimination like their Christian brethren attempted in several other evangelical Republican states. As an aside, in evangelical Republican parlance, the term “political correctness” is what sane Americans understand as constitutionally-guaranteed equal rights and protections from discrimination by evangelical Republican bigots.
Opponents of Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) blanketed the city with billboards, radio ads, television ads, and other forms of messaging focusing on the singular message: “No men in women’s bathrooms!” The “men” the evangelicals referred to demonstrates their religious-informed deceit because they certainly comprehend that a transgender woman was “assigned male at birth but has the inherent gender identity of a woman.” Transgender women were just one of 15 different groups who would, for the first time anywhere in Texas, find protection from discrimination, and for transgender women it was protection for being women. Eliminating that protection, from several demographics, is precisely why Republicans put the ballot initiative up for a vote; and Houston voters revealed themselves as the frightened religious bigots they really are.
Of course, no evangelical Republican ballot measure would be truthful on any level, and the Houston measure’s proponents did what Republicans do as a matter of course; lie. One of the group’s ads claimed that if all Houston residents had equal rights, then “Any man at any time could enter a women’s bathroom simply by claiming to be a woman that day.” The evangelical campaign also made several references to “gender-confused men who use women’s facilities are filthy, disgusting, and unsafe.”
However, as trans editor and writer Mitch Kellaway explained, the claims made by evangelical bigots that transgenders are “filthy, disgusting, and unsafe” forget that things they claim such as, “indecent exposure, harassment, and assault in bathrooms is already illegal. Most importantly, transgender women are not predators; they are individuals who simply want to pee in peace.” Kellaway also noted that transgender women are, in fact, women — all the time.” But this was never about just discriminating against transgenders; it is about legalizing discrimination against 15 different groups that Houston voters obviously cannot countenance.
Now, if there are any sane Americans left in the greater Houston area they just saw their fellow citizens turn out in huge numbers and vote to officially legalize discrimination against a broad swathe of their fellow citizens; but not one person is willing to admit, or say out loud, that this campaign was purely religious in nature. It is telling, and by dog people around the world notice, that in the nation championing freedom and equality for all, the fourth largest city in America just legalized discrimination and worse, they used a ballot initiative to reject the state’s first non-discrimination ordinance that was barely six months’ old.
The opponents of the non-discrimination ordinance, Republicans and a cabal of Old Testament megachurch preachers, actually admitted at one point that spending millions to reject a non-discrimination ordinance had nothing to do with discrimination; it was about rejecting the mayor’s gay agenda being forced on the city. “Gay agenda” is evangelical code for all Americans enjoying the Constitution’s guarantee of equality. The preachers and Republicans naturally lied and denied that they had any bias against gay people, they just will not allow them, or minorities, or transgenders, or immigrants, or non-Christians, or single mothers to have the same equal protections under the law as white Christian Republicans.
It does not matter one iota that, according to Dan Patrick, evangelicals “know in their hearts and guts what is not right,” because their heart and gut knowledge is based on the bible; that archaic mythos they still cannot fathom is not the law of the land. The Constitution is very clear in guaranteeing every American equal rights. It is just one of the Constitution’s tenets that Republicans and their evangelical barbarians refuse to accept and the election results in Houston verifies that claim.
One of the proponents of HERO said,
“We believe all Houstonians should be able to find a job, enjoy an evening out, and find a place to live without facing discrimination. These are basic rights that we should all enjoy in a welcoming community, and they are good for business. We believe that the majority of the citizens of Houston recognize these basic rights.”
Obviously, the majority of Houston citizens do not recognize “these basic rights” because they do not recognize the Constitution as the law of the land. It is true that all Houstonians should enjoy the freedoms and equality every other American does without facing discrimination, but now it is clear that if any Houstonian does want equal rights and protections from discrimination, they will have to flee Texas. This is particularly true for gays, transgenders, women, minorities, immigrants, and any demographic that fails to meet the evangelical Republican definition of a real American; a white “Christian” bigot.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.