Yesterday, as Houstonians prepared to vote on an ordinance that will protect fifteen classes of people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, Governor Greg Abbott couldn’t resist trying to be relevant both in our election and presidential politics:
HOUSTON: Vote Texas values, not @HillaryClinton values. Vote NO on City of Houston Proposition 1. No men in women's bathrooms.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 2, 2015
The questions many of us have for Governor Abbott include, but are certainly not limited to, and often not worded as politely:
- You’ve been a practicing attorney in the State of Texas since the early 80s. Do you not understand that a city’s civic ordinance does not override or cancel out criminal laws about assault, rape, or indecent exposure in bathrooms? Are you really that confused?
- You do know that hate is not a Texas value?
- You and Matthew McConaughey were in the same fraternity. Maybe you can ask him to give you some lessons in chilling out and not being afraid of transpeople?
- Annise Parker is the mayor Houstonians voted for three times. Are you confusing her with Hillary Clinton because they both wear pantsuits from time to time? Do we all look alike to you?
- Transwomen are women. They should use women’s bathrooms. If you force transwomen to use men’s bathrooms, you’ll be forcing women into men’s bathrooms. And you’ll be putting transmen, like Michael, into women’s bathrooms. Is that really your goal?
— Michael C. Hughes (@_michaelhughes1) March 12, 2015
Our governor’s willingness to lie about the meaning and intent of a civic ordinance designed to protect people from discrimination is, at the very least, disheartening.
His willingness to deny the very right to exist to an entire segment of our population is deeply offensive and harmful.
There was another time in Texas history when folks were het up about who used what bathroom, and how worthy of respect some humans were compared to others:
It’s a little unfair to El Paso to use that example. After all:
El Paso’s city charter lists protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity for city employees, but they are not sanctioned by city ordinance. The policy has included provisions for gender identity and sexual orientation since 2003.
El Paso, Greg Abbott, is Texas.
Houston, we’re depending on you. If Plano can do it, you can do it.
Don’t let us down. Vote YES on City of Houston Proposition 1 today.