Does Dallas Need A HERO? Will Houston Get Theirs? Violence And Equal Rights In Texas

Does Dallas need a HERO?

Last time we reported on the violence in Dallas there were 3 cases in 3 weeks time (3-attacks-3-weeks-and-now-vandalism-will-it-be-safe-dallas-weekend) and the first report of the violence that occurred just after Dallas Pride (violent-hate-crime-occurs-after-dallas-pride).  Now reports there are 9 reported attacks in the past two months.

Dallas, Texas — In the last two months, there have been at least nine antigay attacks in the Oak Lawn area, and some of the victims were so badly injured they wound up hospitalized.

Dallas Police claim that each of the victims were walking alone at night in a public place when attacked and robbed.

Two of the attacks were severe enough to land one man in jail with a skull fracture after he was hit in the head with a baseball bat.

Another man wound up in the hospital after he was stabbed.

According to Rafael McDonnell of the Resource Center for the LGBT Community, “It’s obvious these people are going in a particular neighborhood and targeting particular people in that neighborhood.” –

What is going on in the Lone Start State?  Is there an increase in anti-LGBT activity for some reason?  Can we blame it on Houston?  Are people in Dallas making it a point that HERO won't fly there?

Our friends over at the Human Rights Campaign remind us that "on November 3rd, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a measure to protect Houston residents and visitors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, will head to the ballot."

Ahead of Election Day, here are five things you need to know about HERO: 

1. HERO protects people in employment, housing and business services on the basis of 15 different characteristics, including sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity and pregnancy.  

2. When HERO passed in 2014, it was supported by more than 80 current and former elected officials, community and non-profit organizations, major corporations, and more than 70 local faith leaders. 

3.  While Houston is the most diverse city in the country, it is also the only city of its size in the country lacking an equal rights ordinance. 

4. After HERO was signed into law, the Texas legislature introduced an unprecedented onslaught of more than 20 anti-LGBT bills.  

5. Because turnout in these elections is historically extremely low and opponents of equality will be highly mobilized, every vote will count.  –

  Sounds like a pretty good ordinance to pass, right?  No one would support this right?

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair donated $10,000 this week to opponents of the city's embattled equal rights ordinance, entering the political fray over the law headed to voters in November.

McNair, a frequent GOP donor, mailed the  $10,000 check to opponents  earlier this week, according to Campaign for Houston spokesman Jared Woodfill. He said the donation "was very exciting for us."

Critics of the law, largely Christian conservatives, object to the non-discrimination protections it extends to gay and transgender residents — the law also lists 13 other protected groups [the ordinance also bans discrimination based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status]. Supporters of the ordinance, including Mayor Annise Parker, have warned that repealing the law could damage the city's economy and could jeopardize high-profile events such as Houston's 2017 Super Bowl. –

We know Texans love their football.  So when an owner of an NFL franchise decided to back an anti-HERO group, they listen.  But someone else was listening.  Chris Kluwe, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, penned "An Open Letter to Bob McNair, Owner of the Houston Texans."   You may remember Kluwe for his massive support for LGBT rights while he was still a player.  Thank you again Chris!  He opened his letter with:

Dear Bob,

(Here we go again!)

It was with some puzzlement that I read the recent story about your donation to a political group opposing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (“HERO”), a measure seeking to protect Houstonians from sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination.

“Surely,” I said to myself, “one of the NFL’s thirty-two owners, businessmen with more accumulated wealth than most third world nations and completely vested in the well-being of the society that afforded them such success … surely this man could not be a pants-on-head, cowhumping glue-huffer stupid enough to buy in on clearly outdated ideals of bigotry and intolerance?”

Sadly, however, it appears I must hide my livestock, because the facts do not lie. You have, indeed, donated $10,000 to a cause whose sole purpose is to denigrate a specific group of American citizens. Which begs the question — WHY? –

I am not sure if McNair read Kluwe's letter, but as of Friday the 23rd, McNair rescinded his donation.

Texans owner Bob McNair is rescinding a $10,000 contribution he made to Campaign of Houston after being involved in a controversy surrounding opposition to HERO, the city’s equal rights ordinance. McNair released a lengthy statement Friday where he said unauthorized statements attributed to his beliefs were distributed that were never discussed with him, saying he won’t tolerate any personal or professional discrimination. –

For McNair's full statement about his donation and the return of his funds, go to

So we have one population in Dallas that is afraid to be out at night in fear of becoming that weeks story of anti-LGBT violence and we have a population in Houston that is afraid of a Human – Equal – Rights – Ordinance that would extend protection to ALL of its citizens. Don't think it is needed Houstoners?  Just look down the road to Dallas.

In a piece by Jef Rouner released yesterday (Monday October 26) in the Houston Press, he stated

This is the scenario people opposed to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance want me to believe is going to happen: my little girl, all pink eyeglasses, blond curls, and a sass level over 9,000, will need to use a public restroom at the park or a restaurant. Once in there she will be at the mercy of a transwoman, maybe even one with a penis, who will use the rights protected by HERO to… what? Pee within a certain amount of feet from her? Expose herself? Molest her? What diabolical she-penis monstrosity has the City unleashed on our powerless womenfolk?

I’ve got to tell you I know a fair amount of trans folks, and the idea of any of them in the bathroom with my daughter scares me way less than the thought of someone who honestly holds these beliefs being in there with her does. –

So what gives Texas? Are you that confused about what it is to be human?

Dallas does have a nondiscrimination amendment to its constitution from 2014, but I am not sure it has anything like HERO.

Let's home the violence stops in Dallas and the vote is the right one in Houston on November 3rd.

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