The “Bathroom Attack” on Liberty

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from Texas Values Action,

Here’s why every Texan has a stake in the fight over Houston’s pro-homosexual ordinance––whether you live there or not.

Simply put, losing this fight would immediately trigger a tangible rollback of First Amendment religious liberty and free speech rights in every corner of Texas.

To explain why, let me start with the latest. Houston’s City Attorney recently pulled a cheap political stunt to block citizens from having their say on Mayor Annise Parker’s radical ordinance.


Texas Values Action’s allies and supporters had submitted three times as many valid signatures as we needed to put a repeal of the ordinance on the ballot. The signatures were so solid, Houston’s City Secretary even stopped verifying them a third of the way down the list, having already certified more than the required number.

Three days later, however, the City Attorney overruled her and threw out more than half––a staggering rejection rate. His excuses ranged from technicalities about notary credentials to complaints that he couldn’t read the signatures––even though they were already notarized. Then, in violation of city rules, he went straight to the media to announce that we had simply failed to gather enough signatures. If you didn’t know better, you’d think we just didn’t turn in the required number. Of course, the truth is exactly the opposite.

Then, in a cynical blow, the City and homosexual advocates exposed the names and addresses of every petition signer online, an open invitation to harass and threaten them as in other states. In California, for example, signers of a pro-marriage petition were flooded with hate calls, vandalism, even attempts to drive them out of business.

When our side filed suit in state court, the City Attorney’s tactics sank further––he yanked the suit into federal court. This nuisance move only resulted in more hassle and paperwork, but the case was quickly sent back to state court. There, a judge issued an initial injunction to stop the ordinance, and the following week the Mayor, under intense pressure, officially agreed in court to stop enforcing the ordinance until a full trial takes place in January.

Meanwhile, homosexual groups nationwide raise funds to defeat us. Why? Because they know that if family values and religious liberty lose in Houston, the shock wave will sweep across Texas and the nation. Smaller cities trying to compete with Houston will feel no choice but to match every one of its pro-homosexual policies.

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