Mayor Annise Parker Looks Forward to Tossing Out Anti-HERO Petition

Photo by Susan Du
Mayor Annise Parker greets fellow HERO supporters at City Hall on Thursday before her address responding to a petition submitted for repeal of the anti-discrimination law.

Mayor Annise Parker's seen some shit, least of which are sloppy petitions.

Opponents of Houston's newly passed anti-discrimination law submitted a petition to repeal it in the 11th hour today, boasting 50,000 signatures for a measure that only required about 17,000. The mayor responded in an announcement at City Hall that she's looking forward to throwing out a high number of them in the counting process.

If the minimum required signatures are proven to be legitimate -- notarized and collected within 30 days after the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was passed -- a referendum vote will be held in November to determine whether it should stay or go.

The ordinance, HERO, gives local recourse to individuals discriminated against based on identifying factors including race, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender.

And yes, there is a difference between the latter two, Parker passive aggressively reminded anti-HERO protesters who have fixated on opposing the right of transgender women -- who are of biologically male sex -- to use women's bathrooms because it would endanger women and girls.

It will never be legal for a man to use the women's bathroom, Parker said cheekily to resonating applause from the 50 HERO supporters in red shirts flanking her for the cameras.

Photo by Susan Du
Anti-HERO activist Phillip Paul Bryant whispers to fellow petitioners prior to the mayor's address.

The opposition made a showing too, rivaling members of the media at about 15 strong. Though Parker made an effort to draw attention to the holistic purpose of HERO to guard against discrimination in general, anti-HERO advocates maintained that the mayor's personal lesbian agenda overrode her responsibility to the people of Houston who keep electing her into office.

Jonathan Saenz, president of Christian advocacy group Texas Values, said Parker made it clear that she doesn't really care about her non-white constituents when she failed to bring them into the discussion over the controversial anti-discrimination law in its initial stages. He accused her of passing HERO primarily for herself and other members of the LGBT community, because obviously no one could be black and gay at the same time.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Jonathan Saenz is completely inaccurate when he alleges that Mayor Parker didn't consult with Houston's communities of color.  The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was endorsed by the NAACP's Houston Chapter, the Houston Area Urban League, and LULAC.  

Houston civil rights icon William Lawson stood with the mayor at a press conference in support of HERO.  Other leaders of the African American community who turned out to endorse HERO at the Mayor's press conference on July 3 include pastor Rudy Rasmus of St John's United Methodist Church, and Dr. James Douglas, executive vice president of Texas Southern University.  Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis spoke out passionately in favor of HERO at a press conference in May.  

Mr. Saenz pulls a classic page from the conservative playbook:  when the truth and the facts aren't on your side, make something up out of whole cloth. 

Kevin White
Kevin White

Someone should investigate how many of these petitions were collected in churches and sue to have those churches tax exempt status revoked....


Seriously, what happens when a person that clearly has something nefarious on the mind dresses like a woman just to hangout in the female restroom? How do you know if someone is really transgender or just doing some freaky perverted shit? I like the law as a whole just wondering about that obvious issue. I'm not an idiot (doesn't want better) I'm just ignorant (doesn't know better) so someone please enlighten me so I can be an informed advocate.

Ray Hill
Ray Hill

If all glbt people came out to their friends, workmates and families and all supporters of equal rights discussed the issues with their friends and families the majority of Houstonians will support HERO and while we are at it lets expose the hypocrites like preachers living on the down low and/or sexually harassing the women in their congregations...


@nayakno Hanging around in a public bathroom for nefarious purposes has always been illegal, and will continue to be illegal under this ordinance. 

It's the nefarious purposes part that is a problem, not the clothing.  Nefarious purposes=always illegal.  Being transgender =/=.  Pretty simple.

Everybody needs to pee. 

Meanwhile, this ordinance protects every single Houstonian, is supported by the business community, has the backing of many faith leaders, and will make everyone's life better. 

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault