Shortly after the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance’s demise, the same people that fought so hard to kill it have turned their sights to Dallas’s equivalent. HERO haters are on a high after successfully repealing the Houston ordinance that would have afforded protections to not only the LGBT community, but veterans, disabled workers, and 13 other classes. They believe now is the time to take action to repeal the Dallas equal rights ordinance that was implemented almost 14 years ago.
Dallas Equal Rights OrdinanceDallas officials passed a city ordinance 13 years ago that banned discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Following the death of HERO, today’s officials quickly saw the coming storm and worked fast to fine-tune some of the language in the bill to offer clearer protections.
Last year, “sexual orientation” had included “gender identity and expression,” but now they are separately defined in order to be clearer, thereby offering better defense against those that would take advantage of the lack of clarity.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who was one of the leaders against HERO, has already begun stirring up a mob mentality similar to that in Houston. By using scare tactics and misinformation, such as calling HERO an ordinance created simply to “allow men in women’s restrooms,” Patrick was able to drum up the most misguided, hateful rhetoric. Patrick recently echoed those sentiments after hearing of the Dallas City Council’s defensive actions.
“Yesterday’s decision by the Dallas City Council, in closed session, to fast-track the enactment of a similar ordinance to allow men in women’s restrooms is both mind-boggling and appalling,” Patrick spewed.
“Our job as City Council members is to represent the citizens of Dallas. While we respect others’ points of view, our goal is to protect all of our citizens, including minority groups,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings in defense the council’s action. “Yesterday’s unanimous City Council vote did not change the scope of our 13-year-old anti-discrimination ordinance. It is not forthright or honest to minimize this issue to a question about where people relieve themselves.”