The supporters of the "HERO" Bathroom Ordinance in the City of Houston are stretching the truth in their hysterical efforts to avoid voter rejection in November.
They know almost everyone opposes discrimination, so that's what they want to argue. Next up is "everyone does it, so what could be wrong?", and their final argument if that fails, "potential new residents, expanding businesses, tourists, and convention planners are likely to look askance…" of Houston, and we will lose major sports events.
A quick review of their pro-HERO arguments finds they don't hold any water because their ordinance goes far beyond that. Just read the ordinance wording in Section 17-2, "Discriminate means to intentionally distinguish, differentiate, separate, or segregate to the advantage or disadvantage of any person on the basis of a protected characteristic, except as required by federal or state law or court order… Protected characteristic means an individual's sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or pregnancy."
A legal analysis of HERO reveals that "Unlike the Civil Rights Act, which narrows its scope to access to the goods and services and privileges of the public accommodation, the HERO does not limit itself to the goods, services, and privileges of the public accommodation, but rather prohibits any discrimination based upon businesses' status as providing a public accommodation, and to agents and employees simply based upon their status as agents and employees. The language extends to any decisions to discriminate even in their personal life. Since state and federal law rarely 'require' discrimination on account of gender (or any other protected characteristic for that matter), gender specific accommodations, products and services are discriminatory under the ordinance if not offered to everyone on an equal basis."
"Gender based bathrooms in public places fall within the definition of discriminate: Discriminate means to intentionally distinguish, differentiate, separate, or segregate to the advantage or disadvantage of any person on the basis of a protected characteristic. People are separated and segregated based upon a protected characteristic, namely gender. There is no federal, state law or court order requiring segregated bathrooms. Nearly every public establishment would be violating HERO, which requires unisex bathrooms.
"While gender is the most problematic of the protected characteristics, it is acceptable to 'distinguish,' or 'differentiate' people based upon other 'protected characteristics.' A store manager may instruct his employees to assist the elderly or handicapped with their bags, but by doing so violate HERO. Special parking spaces for pregnant women are discriminatory and contrary to HERO. When a carnival comes to town, it will be required to let anyone ride any ride, regardless of pregnancy or handicap and the danger it may present to those particular protected characteristics.
"However, unless it is implemented on the state or federal level, as opposed to the local level, the result could lead to chaos. Hundreds of HERO type ordinances create obstacles to businesses locating from city to city. One city may encourage affirmative action, while another may prohibit it. By participating in one city's affirmative action program, the business may be violating another city's equal rights ordinance. There are other problems, but unless there is uniformity that can only be achieved at the state or federal level, a HERO style ordinance in every city would (create) a lot of work for attorneys in assisting businesses with decisions from employment to accommodations to ensure compliance."
As for the "everyone is doing it" argument, it fails because after a review of the ordinance, Fox 26 Houston showed cities like Fort Worth, Plano, and San Antonio make it unlawful for men to go into female restrooms and locker rooms. The Houston ordinance is significantly more overreaching than similar ordinances in Texas. Why? Because they wanted it that way.
Finally, the pro-HERO supporters are trying to scare us into voting in support of the ordinance by claiming we could lose Super Bowls, and Final Fours, etc. What a dumb reason to vote for or against anything!
The HERO ordinance is Proposition One (1), and Houstonians need to vote NO.
CNN GOP Debate:
Could They Have Done A Worse Job?
After watching the three-hour marathon eleven person CNN debate, it's hard to think of a worse format, questions, and process.
First, the CNN questions were designed to get the candidates to attack each other, violating Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." Second, there appeared to be no organized format with candidates jumping in when they want, except for Ted Cruz who was cut off when he wanted to challenge the moderator's assumption about so called man made climate change. Third, eleven is too many to get a real discussion going. Fourth, no effort was made to ensure close to equal time, so Trump and Bush got the most time, and we wasted a lot of time on personal B.S. like, is Fiorina pretty or not?
TCR's suggestion to the RNC, you don't need CNN and their game playing to handle debates.
Who won and who lost? Loser: Trump had no substance and seemed tired and not on his game. Winners: Marco Rubio knew his stuff, showing a strong mastery of the issues; Carly Fiorina was sharp and well prepared, and clearly is in the top six; Ted Cruz, when he got the chance, was focused and on message; and Jeb Bush showed more energy.
The big concern for TCR coming out of the debate is that there are still many candidates who show naiveté in regard to the terrible Iran deal. Bush, Paul, and Kasich seemed to believe we can trust Iran if we verify with Iran doing its own inspections. Kasich says we can snap back sanctions, but we know once they're gone, they're gone, and not successfully coming back.
Is The Washington GOP Establishment
Out To Get Ted Cruz?
Senator Ted Cruz doesn't back down to the establishment, the politically correct, or the liberal media.
These traits endear him to grassroots conservatives and irritate the establishment. Ted is not satisfied with the standard operating procedure in D.C.
Now the media led by The Wall Street Journal is attacking Cruz after his criticism of the record of Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy, both appointed by Presidents Bush (41 and 43). Cruz is attacked because after the President made his pick, Cruz supported John Roberts like a good team player would. We don't recognize any inconsistency. It is true that Judge J. Michael Luttig and Judge Edith Jones were certainly more reliably conservative than Roberts and Kennedy.
By the way, Cruz is right, we need to do what the Democrats do when appointing consistently liberal jurists, we need to appoint consistently conservative jurists with a record one can rely on. In the past, our usual selections had a stealth record. Of course, doing that gave us liberal judges like David Souter.
Goodbye Speaker John Boehner,
You Will Not Be Missed
Speaker John Boehner is retiring in October after five years as Speaker of the House.
While he was a prolific fundraiser and has grown the GOP, majority conservatives ask, what did he really do to advance conservativism? Specifically, we are still funding Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, and Obama's illegal immigration amnesty, while accomplishing nothing in regard to stopping Iran's race to a nuclear bomb.
In the future, conservative historians will compare Boehner's tenure and lack of conservative success to Newt Gingrich's tenure during which we accomplished a virtual balanced budget deal and major welfare reform while dealing with a strong Democratic President Bill Clinton.
The question now is whether the next Speaker will be any different than Boehner and whether the conservatives in the House can advance on our common sense agenda.
2015 Election Guide and 2016 Primary Preview
Coming soon to your mailbox and online, your 2015 City of Houston Election Guide and 2016 Republican Primary Preview.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
10-02-15 - The City of Houston HERO showdown with Dave Welch, head of the Houston Area Pastor Council, Gerry Birnberg, former Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party and Professor at South Texas College of Law, and Terri Burke, ACLU Texas Executive Director.
Coming Soon - Mayoral candidate face-offs.
The current show as well as past shows are available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his sixteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last fourteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 13 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 14th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.