So Houston went to the polls yesterday and overwhelmingly voted down the HERO act, which would have offered legal protection against discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic status, gender identity, military affiliation, and I think some other classes.
What happened here is that many area churches became political activists, which is never good. When people whose whole raison-t'etre is a falsehood are allowed to steer the political will, that's when you know your voting populace is a bunch of intellectually-hogtied morons who shouldn't be allowed to vote in the first place.
At issue, according to the churches, was whether or not men ("troubled men claiming to be women," they said in their ads) should be allowed into women's public restrooms. For the last three months, that's all I've heard in this town. Perverts were going to be allowed into little girls' bathrooms to do all manner of unspeakable things to our daughters. Obviously, this had to be defeated at the ballot box, right? After all, it was proposed by our lesbian mayor, right?
Okay, I have a few issues here.
First of all, there's the "lesbian mayor" thing. For six years now, all I've heard about Mayor Anise Parker is that she's a lesbian. That's all the Right in this town needs to know to oppose her. She hasn't been our mayor, she's been "our lesbian mayor."
Second, the bill actually had NOTHING TO DO with public bathrooms or who can go in them, and nothing to do with "troubled men claiming to be women." True, it would have required that reasonable accommodations be made for transgender people, but that's not the same as simply "troubled" anyone. By the way, Houston (and the rest of the Bible Belt): The rest of the world accepted LGBT folks as normal decades ago. It's time you stopped calling them "troubled" and caught up with the Human Race. This was a good opportunity to take the next exit out of homophobia-land. Just sayin.....
Third, there are already laws about perving on women in public restrooms (and everywhere else). These laws protect little girls, in public and private restrooms, from acts committed by anyone, "troubled" or not. HERO wouldn't have changed any of that.
Now, here's where it gets crazy. HERO was law in Houston in 2014, and was repealed in order to put it to a vote, so that the area churches could get a chance to oppose it, because to do otherwise was a violation of their religious freedom and constituted a war on Christianity, which would have made our lesbian mayor an ISIS operative (I'm not kidding, that's what the pastors around here were saying on the radio every morning). Because the pastors were using their Sunday pulpits to broadcast political messages, the city government subpoenaed the text of their sermons to see if there was sufficient grounds to begin looking into their tax-exempt status. Naturally, this became a big, hairy court battle between God and our lesbian mayor, who obviously only wanted to destroy religious liberties and shut up the Bible, like ISIS (again, this was actually said). The churches eventually won, causing an embarrassing retraction from the ISIS-loving lesbian mayor, and all-but-official recognition of God's right to spread not only religious fairy tales, but Republican Party dogma as well, from his holy tax-free pulpit.
During the time when the law was in effect, not one single case of "troubled men" perving on little girls in public restrooms was recorded in Houston. Not one. Also, this hasn't been an issue in any of the other cities in the US where similar laws are in effect right now. Here in Texas, the reddest of all states, this stuff is the law of the land in Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin (and El Paso? I can't remember), and bathroom perving has increased exactly zero percent. For those of you who went to public school in Houston, zero percent means none at all. It didn't increase, because it isn't happening. You've been fed a barrel of bullshit, and you ate it right up. Yummy.
Meanwhile, in Houston, it's LEGAL for an employer to walk up to you and say that he doesn't like you because you served in the military. You're fired, asshole. Or because you're gay. You're fired, you flaming asshole. Or because your wife is a Mexican. You flaming asshole with a flaming asshole (okay I don't know about that last part, I just wanted to say "flaming asshole" again). Sure, you could make a federal discrimination case out of it, if you have ten thousand dollars and two years to spend on it. But if you're like me, you'd have to sell your sexy ass on the street corner to come up with that kind of money - and my sexy ass just doesn't have that kind of work ethic.
Okay, no more ass jokes, I promise.
See, I have lifelong friends who ask me why I hate Christianity. Why can't I just respect people's beliefs? they ask. Well, I wouldn't say I hate it, but I do distrust it, and here's why. Where I live, Christians, led by their pastors illegally using their churches for political speech, have shot down an ordinance what would have protected military veterans and their families from discrimination - which is a real thing - in order to protect us from "troubled men" perving on little girls in public bathrooms - which isn't a real thing, and never was (and wasn't even in the bill). Once again, Christians have seen to it that made-up bullshit trumps known reality. Just because you can imagine it doesn't make it real, and real people will now have to pay for your bullshit.
All my life, I've heard about discrimination. Against race, age, gender, LGBT stuff, you name it. Well, here was your chance to do something about it, and you failed. You failed because you were scared of the Christian boogeyman. Congratulations.