Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (H.E.R.O.)
Just like understanding that some folks think we should have a woman president does not mean it has to or should be Hillary Clinton, understanding the concerns of people who want an anti-discrimination ordinance does not mean it has to be H.E.R.O. And, we don’t think it is necessary to use harsh language against any group of people to point out that H.E.R.O. does have a lot of bad things in it that go beyond the bathroom – and locker room – issue, though there are legitimate concerns there as well, notwithstanding the arguments made by the left-wing, L-dominated GBT militants. If more middle-of-the-road folks were made aware of the issues below, they would likely vote against H.E.R.O. (Proposition on the ballot of Houston’s 2015 city elections). Here are the issues VFI has found to be of concern.
1. Serious Liability Burden to Small Businesses.
Although the ordinance starts off by applying only to businesses with 50 or more employees, in two years that number goes down to 15 employees. A business that small can be easily sunk by one single lawsuit or even accusation, taking all the other jobs with it.
2. Language Vague and Potentially Capricious.
How easily can a business be accused? The ordinance is very vague and broad when it uses the words “demonstration of preference or antipathy” that can be made to mean almost anything (see H.E.R.O. Text & Public Accommodations page for full section text). If an owner was merely overheard by an employee expressing any opinion on identity politics the employee does not like, it is easy to see how an employee could accuse the employer of showing “preference or antipathy”. How capricious is the language? A similar ‘equal rights’ ordinance in Colorado was successfully used against a gay bar because it happened to cater to masculine men. We wonder how many gay bar owners and other gay business owners in Houston know that. (The bar was “The Wrangler” in Denver, cited in violation last year.)
Public accommodations used to mean something very specific when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed (anything (see H.E.R.O. Text & Public Accommodations page for full Act text, and more details on this issue). This new law expands public accommodations to mean just about anything, including the creation of customized, expressive work, which the original definition does not do. This is new, and it is an encroachment on free speech and the freedom to contract freely and with full mutual consent. Changing (expanding) the definition of public accommodations is being used by the left as a way to stamp out all commerce that does not comply with the notions of sexuality as defined by the militant left – without most people who support these ordinances even realizing it.
4. Major Law Fashioned with Little Local debate.
It is far-reaching law, yet it was passed as an emergency measure, with very little input from all our locally elected representatives, and none from any religious conservatives that we know of. Frankly, it comes across like a carbon copy of ordinances promoted by leftists in many cities across the country, with little debate, and it seems this was intentional. (Yes, we are debating now, but only after the local churches got wind of it, and forced the public debate. Moreover, we only get a yes or no vote in November; we had no say on how it should have been written.) By the way, because of this most people in the other cities don’t even know they have these new laws, which is one reason why it is misleading when L-led GBT militants tell you these laws have had no widespread negative effects since people don’t even know they passed, save activists looking for bakeries and pizzerias to hassle.
Observed the 26th of every month through 2016 in public support of the values cited in the VFI Declaration.
Details on White & Red Day
5. BIG Corporate Law.
Just like big liberal corporations are largely behind Obamacare and many other regulations, so it is with ordinances like H.E.R.O. Big corporations love regulation that they can handle easily with an army of lawyers and so-called diversity consultants, but leaves small competitors at a disadvantage. Most of those big corporations already have very pro-GLBT policies, and some even require their employees to espouse those values at work. Large corporations, which seem to have no problem peddling cultural trash, are 100% ‘all in’ on what they call ‘diversity’ as defined by hardcore leftists.
6. Need for New Bureaucracy Unclear.
A new bureaucratic process is being established to add a new layer of oversight for local businesses, and to resolve what pressing issue? Where are the actual cases that H.E.R.O would actually solve? We have not heard a single case that has occurred in our city where this ordinance would have made a difference, or where state and federal law would not already cover the issue.
7. As for the image of our city…
We didn’t have a problem with business coming to Houston before this law was passed. We elected a gay mayor three times, didn’t we? So, if we have any boycotts now, they should be laid at the feet of those who brought this law up in the first place the way they did. Frankly, we deeply resent being told that the fair-minded citizens of Houston who have elected a gay mayor three times in a row should be labeled bigots if they decline to pass a law over which they had no say, and tramples over their own freedoms of expression, freedom of association, and property rights. Perhaps we should start getting the names of the big liberal corporations supporting H.E.R.O. and start encouraging conservative Houstonians to boycott them? Just a question. After all, what Chick-Fil-A and Trump both have taught us is: the liberal media and the far-left are paper tigers when you stand your ground against being bullied into agreeing with them. What Houstonians need to know is this: big liberal corporations will boycott to move politicians who fear losing office. But, they never boycott popular votes because that means losing real customers. That is why they do business in Russia, China, and anywhere there are bodies – local tyrannical and bloody oppression notwithstanding.
Frankly, the idea of big liberal public corporations, routinely discovered risking customer and employee lives, employing slave and child labor abroad, promoting sex and violence to minors, destroying people’s retirements in banking and investment shenanigans, violating anti-pollution laws, all in the name of profit, now lecturing us that anyone not accepting their views of sexuality and morality are unacceptable customers, this idea should be viewed for the hypocritical farce that it is.
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