Former U.S. Secretary of State and Democrat presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton weighed in to support the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) that would make Houston businesses allow men who are dressed in female attire or otherwise say they feel like a woman to use women’s bathrooms, showers and locker rooms, regardless of their biological sex. The Democrat presidential hopeful tweeted out her support to activists in Houston.
“No one should face discrimination for who they are or who they love — I support efforts for equality in Houston & beyond,” Clinton tweeted.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 29, 2015
Liberals across the nation have been coming out in support of the ordinance which many believe will put women and young girls in danger. Earlier on Thursday, actress Sally Fields made an appearance in Houston supporting the ordinance which is on the ballot currently being voted on by the residents of the Bayou City, according to the Houston Chronicle. Even the Washington Post has tried to weigh in on Houston’s local politics, Breitbart Texas reported.
The White House was also asked about this local city ballot measure. While they did not come out with a full endorsement like Clinton, the spokesman said that President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden are “confident that the citizens of Houston will vote in favor of fairness and equality,” the Chronicle reported.
Conservatives have brought out their own big guns as former Houston baseball all-star Lance Berkman and the Houston Texans NFL franchise owner Bob McNair weighed in against the ordinance.
“I played professional baseball for fifteen years, but my family is more important.” Berkman said in an ad that was reported by Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick. “My wife and I have four daughters. Proposition 1 would allow troubled men who claim to be women to enter women’s bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. It’s better to prevent this danger by closing women’s restrooms to men, rather than waiting for a crime to happen. Join me to stop the violation of privacy and discrimination against women.”
The ballot measure could also have a big impact on the on-going City of Houston elections as both sides appear to be working their base to get voters out on this issue. If passed, the ordinance will apply to companies with more than fifty employees.
Houston’s openly gay mayor, Anise Parker, introduced the ordinance in the spring of 2014 that was aimed to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity. It added people expressing their gender identity as a man or woman, regardless of biological sex or sexual preference, to the city’s thirteen other “protected characteristics,” Shadwick reported.
While proponents of the measure say it simple protects people from discriminatory practices, opponents say the ordinance forces Houston businesses to make all women’s bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms available to anyone dressed in female attire, or who simply expresses their gender identity as a woman, regardless of their physical attributes.
Houston City Councilman Michael Kubosh told Breitbart Texas in a prior interview, “They’ve added these other classes, of sexual identity and gender expression, and these things have confused the issue. The business community doesn’t want to be perceived as being in any way discriminating. But they [the backers of the ordinance] want to criminalize anyone who denies them service or feels like they may be discriminated [against] by any business.”
More information about the ballots can be found in Breitbart Texas extensive coverage of the measure.
Early voting on the measure ends on Friday and the general election will be held on Tuesday, November 3.
This article has been updated with additional information.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.