Houston Rejects LGBT Nondiscrimination Measure Due to Bathroom-Related Fears

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Green sign with male and female symbols directed to go in opposite directions
Photo: Mike Warren/© Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

In an increasingly rare victory for opponents of LGBT rights, on Tuesday night Houston voters repealed a measure that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, age, and several other categories. The vote was 61 percent to 39 percent with 96 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The measure was passed by the city council in May, then put to a referendum after a legal battle. While 200 cities have similar ordinances and the measure had strong backing from the city’s lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, and Democrats nationally, opponents succeeded in turning the issue into a debate over bathrooms. Ads featuring the slogan “No Men in Women’s Bathrooms” suggested that the ordinance would allow sexual predators to follow women and girls into restrooms. “No one’s rights should be subject to a popular vote,” Parker said on Tuesday. “This was a campaign of fear-mongering and deliberate lies.”