undersigned are writing on behalf of the 40 million Americans and
internationals who subscribe to the organizations we administer. We are deeply
dismayed by your defeat of Prop 1 (Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance) in the election of November 3, and we
have a few questions for you.
1: Did you really think you were voting on an ordinance about bathrooms? Did it occur to you to
question why a city government would be creating a law as narrowly scoped as
2: What possible motive could they have?
3: Do you honestly believe that all gay men are child molesters who want to
invade your daughters’ bathrooms and hurt them? (That is a false assumption,
which has been rejected, time and time and time
again. Turn away from science, if you must, but please do not take the rest of
us down with you.)
4: Do you realize that your defeat of Prop 1 enlarges the already huge target
on the backs of transgender women, and perpetuates the myth that trans women are not real women and do not
deserve the same protections?
5: How about this? Did you know that Prop 1 never specifically mentioned
bathrooms? (It did, however, encompass barring discrimination in public
accommodations, which includes public restrooms.)
Question 6: Were you aware of the broader nondiscrimination protections in the measure? Here’s the measure; see for yourselves.
Question 7: Did you vote no without even reading the measure?
8: Are you a parent or a grandparent? Did you know that Houston’s children are
watching what you do, and taking a message that you may not intend? (LGBTQ
children are at greater risk than their heterosexual
peers–for bullying, depression, violence, attempted suicide, and suicide.
Houston’s defeat of Prop 1 reaffirms the rejection that these kids feel. Be
careful who you hate; it just may be someone you love.)
you now have a problem. Those of us looking in, where we previously saw a
progressive and growing city, now see one that consciously chose not to protect
its vulnerable. You may fear bathrooms; we now fear your mindset. Some of you
may have sought to put those “uppity” LGBT people in their “places”—such is the
sentiment of bullies.
We thought you were better than that, and we still have hope that you are.
To conclude, your defeat of Prop 1 (Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance) gravely disappoints us, and reminds us that, even as words of love come from your mouths, your vote is an act of hate. We are reminded that our goal—full equality for all, under law—is still far ahead of us.
We sincerely hope, the next time you have a chance to vote for or against discrimination, (1) that you will not listen only to the voices telling you how scared and threatened you should be, (2) that you will not seize the chance to deny someone else the same protections you enjoy, and (3) that you will actually read the measure on which you are voting. Your children’s lives may depend on it.
Rachel Hockett, Founder, The Equality Mantra
on behalf of:Emma Bailey, Wipe Out Transphobia; Rush Derr IV, The Equality Mantra; Todd Haley II, The LGBT Pink Panthers Movement; Ken Jansen, The Equality Mantra; Kevin O’Neil, Stop-Homophobia.com; Rob Watson, Evolequals.com