Posted: 11/04/15 02:04, Edited: 11/04/15 02:11
by Dave Mindeman
One of the more disappointing election night results for Nov 3rd was the defeat and recall of a city ordinance which protected gay and transgender rights in housing, employment, city contracting and business services. This type of legislation has passed in other cities without a huge amount of controversy, but in Houston it received stiff opposition.
And the winning slogan that defeated this ordinance is a little unusual....
No Men in Women's Bathrooms.
Opponents of the measure said that this ordinance would "allow men claiming to be women to enter women's bathrooms and inflict harm."
Wow. Just wow.
I am not sure if I am missing something regarding public bathrooms but there doesn't seem to be any "secret key" that is gender exclusive. I remember being in a hurry in an airport and running into a bathroom without paying attention and when I didn't see any urinals, I knew I was in the wrong place. Fortunately, no one was in the bathroom at the time and my quick exit was not noticed. I also remember going into a gas station to use a bathroom and found the men's room locked. The clerk at the counter noticed my attempt at entry and pointed out..."the ladies room is open...go ahead." So I did. I never considered the idea that I could be in violation of some city ordinance.
I guess my point is that if men enter a woman's bathroom what is stopping them exactly? And if they intend to "inflict harm" is their a higher level of "harm" if it happens in the wrong gender bathroom?
The Lt. Governor of Texas was jubilant at the victory....
"It was about protecting our grandmoms, and our mothers and our wives and our sisters and our daughters and our granddaughters," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, told cheering opponents who gathered at an election night party at a Houston hotel. "I'm glad Houston led tonight to end this constant political-correctness attack on what we know in our heart and our gut as Americans is not right."
So this was a "protecting our women" crusade I guess.
I'm not sure where the idea of protecting employment rights and housing rights got lost in this particular election. Obviously the fear mongering tactic worked and kept the "sanctity of the women's bathroom" safe for the womenfolk. But the idea that simple rights of protection in such basic areas of life can be upended by a bathroom campaign gives us some idea how little those rights mean in Texas - at least how little they mean for "certain people".
All I can say is that it is disappointing to see the great progress that has been made over the last few years, stymied by such foolishness.
If you really want to do something for women's bathrooms that is really productive....make them bigger with more stalls.