In what was already a big night for conservatives on Tuesday with election wins in Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, and Virginia to name a few, voters in Houston, Texas overwhelmingly rejected a pro-transgender measure dubbed “the bathroom ordinance.” Not surprisingly, that did not sit well with The New York Times as it lamented the loss for the “equal rights ordinance.”
With the piece entitled “Houston Voters Reject Broad Anti-Discrimination Ordinance,” writers Manny Fernandez and Mitch Smith griped that the “yearlong battle over gay and transgender rights” had “turned into a costly, ugly war of words” came to a head when “voters repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance that had attracted attention from the White House, sports figures and Hollywood celebrities.”
The pair explained that the Democratically-controlled City Council had “passed the measure in May, but it was in limbo after opponents succeeded, following a lengthy court fight, in putting the matter to a referendum vote.”
In an earlier version, The Times whined that “[t]he rejection signaled that the country’s fourth-largest city and one that has been run by Democrats for decades was more conservative than its national reputation as a gay-friendly city might suggest.”
Predictably trying to make the supporters of the ordinance seem reasonable and opponents out of touch, the paper hyped:
Supporters said the ordinance was similar to those approved in 200 other cities and prohibited bias in housing, employment, city contracting and business services for 15 protected classes, including race, age, sexual orientation and gender identity. Opponents said the measure would allow men claiming to be women to enter women’s bathrooms and inflict harm, and that simple message — “No Men in Women’s Bathrooms” — was plastered on signs and emphasized in television and radio ads, turning the debate from one about equal rights to one about protecting women and girls from sexual predators.
Fernandez and Smith later invoked Democratic lesbian Mayor Annise Parker as having a variety of supporters who all “accused opponents of using fearmongering against gay people, and farfetched talk of bathroom attacks, to generate support for a repeal.” Speaking of Parker, the duo dubbed it a “a personal blow” to Parker.
Looking to belittle Christians and conservatives against the pro-LGBT measure, they continued (with the link inserted by this writer):
Opponents of the measure — including Mr. Patrick, pastors of conservative megachurches and the former Houston Astros baseball star Lance Berkman — said the ordinance had nothing to do with discrimination and was about the mayor’s gay agenda being forced on the city. They denied that they had any bias against gay people, and said the ordinance was so vague that it would make anyone who tried to keep any man from entering a women’s bathroom the subject of a city investigation and fine.
Also in the previous version, the article mourned:
Supporters failed to counter campaign signs and ads by opponents that cast the ordinance as a safety issue. Opponents deployed signs with the slogan “No Men in Women’s Bathrooms” and produced ads playing on fears that male sexual predators dressed as women would gain new freedom to enter women’s restrooms. The ordinance says nothing specifically about whether men can use women’s restrooms.
Turning to the broader impact of the rejection, Fernandez and Smith attempted to employ the same line of thinking the liberal media used against Indiana and the City of Indianapolis in March concerning religious freedom:
The immediate effect of the vote is unclear. Ms. Parker and her supporters said Houston would lose tourism and convention business if the city had to repeal the ordinance and became known for intolerance, just as a backlash in Indiana over a religious-objections law led to convention cancellations and boycotts before that law was changed. Supporters worried that a repeal of the Houston ordinance could also jeopardize its selection as host city for the Super Bowl in 2017.