Yesterday, the citizens Houston overwhelmingly rejected a proposed ordinance that “would have been used to shutter faith-based adoption agencies, penalize florists, photographers and bakers, and force businesses to allow biological males who identify as women into women’s restrooms and changing rooms.” The ordinance, known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), was supported by a wide array of big businesses, celebrities and elites. To oppose the ordinance was a clear indication of deep seeded bigotry against homosexuals, according to its supporters. (Now, of course, HERO supporters claim that opponents used a “smear campaign” to confuse voters.)
But clearly the rejection of HERO isn't about whether or not Houstonians are a loving people or about denying people jobs because of their sexuality, because they have voted three times to give the job of mayor to a lesbian. It’s about the ramifications of bad policy.
Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation puts it this way:
"Against one-sided media coverage, big business lobbying, and various elites expressing their support for the ordinance—a grassroots coalition of ordinary citizens were able to explain why sexual orientation and gender identity laws are bad policy."
Simply put, the consequences of the ordinance were spelled out for the voters, and the voters of Houston, some of the most tolerant in the nation, overwhelmingly rejected the ordinance.
Anderson argues that the results of Houston (as well as Kentucky and elsewhere) should give courage to values friendly elected officials:
"Conservatives can win when they refuse to be bullied by elites into silence. Making the public argument against bad policy and in support of good policy can win the day. It just did."
Refuse to be bullied. Seems simple enough.