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In Houston’s Defense

After failure of the equal rights ordinance, critics are being a little too harsh on the Bayou City.

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AP Photo/The Houston Chronicle, Gary Coronado

The biggest news story from Texas’s 2015 election, held on Tuesday, was the failure of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which would have prohibited discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and private services. As my colleague John Nova Lomax wrote on Wednesday, the fact that it was not just defeated but crushed, by 62 percent to 38 percent, was “a stunner,” and one that could have serious consequences. HERO’s legal protections would have extended to fifteen different characteristics, but the opposition had focused on its inclusion of “gender identity,” with ads casting the ordinance as little more than a ruse, one which would allow predatory men to roam freely through women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. As Lomax put it, the apparent effectiveness of this tactic makes the voters of Houston look like a bunch of yokels:

Make no mistake – the rest of the world is ever-eager to have their opinion of Texas as a haven for bigots and yahoos endorsed. What plays well in Kingwood and Clear Lake no longer is received well in London, Berlin and New York, and while the local suburbanites might say that they don’t give a damn, they might when a multinational uses this as an excuse to choose Atlanta, Dallas, or Chicago over Houston.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if the margin of defeat wasn’t so huge, but when two-thirds of your citizens are perceived as bigots, well, that’s a bit of a problem.

Indeed, Houston has been woodshedded in both the state and national media over the past few days, and many of HERO’s disappointed supporters have diagnosed bigotry, transphobia, hate and fear as the drivers of its defeat.

The dismay makes sense. As Lomax notes, Houston is the only major city in Texas without an equal rights ordinance on the books, and just weeks ago, polls showed a plurality of voters in support of the measure. So does the diagnosis. Transphobia has fueled opposition to HERO since the debate over the ordinance began, in 2014. From the outset, as my colleague Dan Solomon wrote at the time, you had freelance social conservatives like Mike Huckabee weighing in with warnings that Houston could count on men to use the legal protection of gender identity to infiltrate supposedly safe spaces for women. The implicit premise of this warning, and in the ads that have aired in Houston recently, is that a transgender woman remains a man—”troubled” at best, as former Astros player Lance Berkman put it in an ad opposing HERO—and that “gender identity” is a form of deviance, sin, or mental illness: something that should be proscribed, not protected.

Still, I think people are being too hard on Houston here. The diagnosis is a bit wrong. And if I’m right, Houston’s critics are missing some important points. Since the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage this summer, transgender rights have emerged as the next frontier of social justice. Houston’s vote on HERO became the nation’s first quasi-referendum on the subject, because the opposition focused on the ordinance’s inclusion of gender identity, and supporters, in pushing back against the prejudice and ignorance of their opponents, effectively accepted the frame. LGBTQ advocates may see the results as a measure of endemic, deplorable bigotry in this backwards city in Texas. That’s overly simplistic, though, and so the sweeping denunciations of transphobia aren’t likely to be productive—in Houston, or anywhere else.

Since Tuesday, many comments on HERO’s defeat have noted a few bewildering details: Houston was the first major city to elect an openly gay mayor—the outgoing Annise Parker, who was elected in 2009 and re-elected twice—and it remains the largest one to do so. It is probably the most diverse major city in the country: more international, more socioeconomically varied. All of this underlies the assessment my colleague Mimi Swartz offered a few weeks ago: “Like so many people, I spend most of my days believing it’s a great, underappreciated city where diversity and tolerance thrive, at least as long as the economy keeps churning along and no one discovers a true alternative source of energy.” But the debate over HERO, she continued, had rattled her: “The events of the last few weeks have reminded me of an older Texas, the one I wanted to get the hell out of when I was growing up—the one that was a center of backwardness and bigotry I told myself Houston had left behind.”

I live in Austin, and having been focused on state and national politics, I didn’t follow the debate over HERO closely. Though transphobia is differently rooted than xenophobia, homophobia, etc, I’m not aware of anything that would make Houston, as a city, more vulnerable to this pathology than any of Texas’s other major cities, all of which have managed to pass equal rights ordinances. Neither was anyone else until its actual failure. “This ordinance is a public statement of what the majority of Houstonians already embrace,” explains the FAQ at HOUEquality.

And having been following state and national politics closely, I can see an alternative explanation of HERO’s crushing defeat. The past few years have been great for gay rights in the United States, and auspicious for transgender rights. Even in Texas, things haven’t been entirely grim. Progress has been mostly confined to the municipal level—Parker’s election is one example of that, as was San Antonio’s passage of an equal rights ordinance covering both sexual orientation and gender identity, in 2013—or courtesy of the Supreme Court. But there hasn’t been any regression on the state level; much to the chagrin of certain social conservatives, none of the anti-LGBTQ legislation filed in 2015 made it through the Lege.

Meanwhile, in May 2014 the Houston City Council voted to replace its existing legal protections against discrimination—isn’t it amazing that the hopelessly backwards city of Houston had an equal rights ordinance?—with HERO, which extended protections to gay and transgendered people as well as the groups previously covered. Social conservatives, who had opposed the proposal in the first place, started a petition to repeal it, which the city rejected, which led to a lawsuit, which led to the city’s effort to subpoena sermons related to HERO, etc, all of which culminated in July, when the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Houston either had to put HERO on the ballot, or forget about it.

The legal proceedings that led up to the election, in other words, are pretty fuzzy to me. But the upshot is clear enough. Houston held an off-year election on an ordinance that extended legal protections to gay people and transgendered people, after a year and a half of highly contentious proceedings on both sides, at a moment when critics of LGBTQ rights are reeling from such a profound series of setbacks that they recently had to resort to rallying around a county clerk in Kentucky whose religious beliefs about marriage were blatantly inconsistent with the law of the land, her oath of office, and her own actions with regard to the sanctity of marriage.

The leaders of the opposition, in other words, were highly motivated, and Houston has a few idiosyncrasies that worked in their favor. For one, it’s probably the single city in America most unlikely to see a municipal ordinance about anything as a statement of purpose or a point of pride. It’s in Harris County, which is home to donors like Steve Hotze, who had been thwarted at every pass during the course of the session, and operatives like Jared Woodfill, the former chair of the Harris County Republican Party, who is clearly considering a run for state party chair and who led the opposition to HERO. Worst of all, Houston is in Texas, where voter engagement is such that Tuesday’s elections also resulted in the passage of the statewide Proposition 1, the property tax relief proposal, which also has ominous implications for equality in Texas.

To be sure, symbols matter. As Lomax writes, HERO’s defeat sends the wrong message about Houston; I would add that whenever statewide officials are tweeting about who’s allowed in the girl’s bathroom, Texas is having a bad messaging day. But if we’re assessing the relative equality and justice of the city of Houston, we’ll find that there are plenty of reasons HERO’s defeat shouldn’t be grounds for a sweeping indictment of the city writ large. Houston is the same city it was a week ago. The evidence of its capacity for growth, evolution, opportunity and fairness are abundant. And the denunciations, accordingly, are giving me a feeling of phobia fatigue. The dismay over HERO’s defeat isn’t evidence that Houston is in thrall to bigotry. It’s evidence, in my view, that it’s not.

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  • John Johnson

    Here’s a very astute, measured response from my Rep, Matt Krause, on this issue. I would also add that the market being flooded with the Bruce Jenner switch to Caitlan, and the “esteemed” award given her by ESPN turned people off big time. I was one of them. Don’t waggle that stuff incessantly in front of my face; don’t hand out unwarranted kudos when others are so much more deserving. It produces a slow burn which can manifest itself in any number of ways. The Houston HERO vote was just one of them.

    Here’s Rep. Krause’s take:

    “If this was an ordinary, nondescript measure, there would be no reason to push it through the way they did. There would be no reason to seek to silence the opposition by calling them bigots and hatemongers. And there certainly wouldn’t have been a need to subpoena the sermons and private conversations of pastors. That move is what really showed the hand of those promoting the measure. It was an unprecedented and unwise move. It was that move, in my humble opinion, that galvanized the electorate more than anything else. Those who opposed the measure were outspent 4-1. And the policy had the support of the sitting POTUS and the all-but–guaranteed Democratic nominee for the next election. (I would think the lesson had been learned in the last gubernatorial election, but support from Obama and Clinton actually hurt Texas candidates and positions. Prop 1 supporters would have done well to try and keep those two out of the conversation – because it only validated to concerned citizens in Houston that this was more than just a normal, everyday policy)” – Rep. Matthew Kraus

    • dave in texas

      Excellent point about the idiocy of trying to get subpoenas for the sermons, but what I didn’t understand was why subpoenas were needed in the first place. Lots of churches have them available on-line or in printed form, and lots of others actually broadcast them each week. It’s never, ever a good idea to look like you’re strong-arming a church. It’s counterproductive and a borderline (maybe complete, I’m not a lawyer and can’t say) abrogation of the 1st Amendment.

      I’d push back a little on the notion that this is being ‘waggled in people’s faces.’ Caitlynn Jenner didn’t give herself the award, after all; that was ESPN. Were other people more deserving? Maybe. It depends on the criteria. Should it be more about courage on the field of play? Then no, she probably didn’t deserve it. But if ESPN was trying highlight something else, then maybe she did. Courage, other than battlefield valor, is really pretty subjective.

      I don’t see this as substantively different than the struggles other people have had to secure their rights. People got really angry at women who were trying to secure the right to vote. African Americans were murdered trying to get the right to vote. Rights have to be gained. To me, though, this whole issue isn’t so much about gaining a right as it is just the right to be equal to everyone else.

      Despite the focus of the anti-HERO folks, this wasn’t about bathrooms. This was about equality in housing and employment. I think people in this country are just really hung up on sexual differences; there’s still a really strong Puritan strain in the culture here, and when you combine that with deliberate fear-mongering, you’re going to get a result like this.

      Sorry, this is kind of rambling.

      • John Johnson

        No rambling. Good solid perspective. I just disagree with you on ESPN’s motivation and justification for the award and the role it might have played in my personal feelings, and those of others, when it came to Houston’s proposition.

        • MelissaCyn15

          Remember that the name of the award was the “Arthur Ashe Courage Award”. Arthur Ashe was a tennis player who contracted AIDS and became an advocate for those who were similarly afflicted. The courage to which the award refers was him coming out as having the condition and becomming an advocate for others like him.

          Sounds pretty close to what Caitlyn has done.

    • Rules of Blazon

      1) The bigots and hatemongers like Matt Krause who opposed the ordinance can scream and yell all day long that they don’t want people with different sexual orientations to enjoy the same rights and privileges they do. They’re welcome to exercise their right to free speech and further confirm their disgusting bigotry to the world. It’s only their LYING that should be silenced. “Men in women’s bathrooms!” is a LIE. “I think transgendered people should be discriminated against and treated like second-class citizens because of my twisted, radicalized politico-religious beliefs” is revolting, but it’s what they think and therefore what they should have the courage to say when they choose to oppose HERO and other such laws.

      2) There were never any “subpoenas of sermons.” That is another LIE used by bigoted opponents of the ordinance like Matt Krause for publicity purposes. Ask any lawyer about written discovery requests in civil litigation, in particular Requests for Production of Documents (“RFPs”). Copies of speeches was one part of one request buried in a laundry list of others in an RFP, and while that one (if memory serves) was inartfully worded and of questionable relevance, it didn’t infringe on anybody’s rights. I doubt any documents were ever actually produced in response to it, but, of course, that didn’t stop the disingenuous bigots of the world like Ted Cruz and Matt Krause from acting like the City of Houston was OPPRESSING THE CLERGY AND PERSECUTING CHRISTIANS!!!!1!!1!!one!!

      3) What transparent concern-trolling by bigot Matt Krause to mention Obama and Clinton in connection with HERO. I don’t recall either of them weighing in on HERO at all. But you know who did? Greg Abbott and Dannie Goeb, who have now cemented their own reputations as irredeemable bigots, cowards, and panderers to the very worst constituency that exists in our state.

      • John Johnson

        Oh, boy…the hate you ascribe to those opposed to the Houston proposition seems to have crept over to you. That makes your post pretty insignificant in my mind. Can’t imagine you changing anyone’s position by spitting in their face, but you already know that.

        P.S. Rep. Matt Krause could end up being one of the best legislators this state has ever had. He has statemen like qualities unfamiliar to most. That is all lost on you. Too bad.

        • Rules of Blazon

          If the paragraph you quoted accurately represents Krause’s thinking, then he is nothing more than a hyper-partisan, penny-ante bigot who will be remembered for his latter-day Jim Crow antics if at all.

          Thanks for passing it along!

          • John Johnson

            You’re more than welcome…glad to help feed your fire.

          • Rules of Blazon

            Don’t know about that – but you sure burned Krause!

          • John Johnson

            Hahaha. We all see things differently, don’t we? If Matt was worried about infuriating the already infuriated crowd, I don’t think he would have posted it on FB for all to see. This would lead to believe that he doesn’t really care what you think.

          • Rules of Blazon

            The man is plainly too stupid or deluded to realize what he’s done. Which speaks volumes about his admirers.

      • Adolf Verloc

        The LGB folks would be well advised to give the T’s the boot. Gender dysphoria (or gender identity disorder, to give it it’s proper name) is not a matter of sexual preference. It is a mental disorder, which has become politically popular to treat with hormones and surgery instead of psychotherapy. Most children who experience gender dysphoria manage to transition to being a psychologically healthy gay or lesbian. Those who don’t cannot accept their sexual preference or have other severe mental problems.

        • Rules of Blazon

          I lack the knowledge base to comment beyond pointing out that what you say sounds very dubious to me. I think transgender people are capable of deciding for themselves how to identify.

        • Hugh Everett

          Championing transgender equality and gun control are the political equivalent of carrying 20 pound dumbells in a marathon.Please proceed, Democrats.

          • Unwound

            and theyre still going to win the 2016 election because your side will nominate a loon

        • MelissaCyn15

          Thank you for your opinion. It is, however, inconsistent with that of The American Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Medical Association, The World Health Organization, and every major medical and mental health organization in the western world. They all agree that being transgender is biological in nature, not psychological and not amenable to traditional psychotherapeutic treatment.

          But, I suppose they could all be wrong and you could be right–I wouldn’t bet the bank on it though.

      • Erica Grieder

        Gender identity isn’t a “sexual orientation.” And I can see that you’re feeling even more morally self-righteous than usual, but it’s impossible to take your soapboxing seriously when you get basic facts and concepts wrong, as you routinely do.

        • Rules of Blazon

          Yes, you’re right (and I was wrong to conflate gender identity and sexual orientation). My mistake.

          But I’m not sorry for being this angry at the opponents of HERO for the tactics they used. I agree that it’s important to get basic facts and concepts right, especially in the context of political arguments. So why are you giving a pass to those who deliberately used false information to make their case? Surely you’re as appalled by that as I am.

        • Indiana Pearl

          @ Ms. G: It might be helpful to tease out the subtle difference between homophobia and transphobia.

    • Erica Grieder

      That’s great from Krause. Thanks for passing it along!

  • dave in texas

    I didn’t follow this referendum all that closely either, but to me, what this boils down to is that fear works, especially against a group that (previous anti-discrimination ordinance notwithstanding) is pretty far from the mainstream. Most folks know lots of gay people, but I don’t think that’s true for trans-sexuals. The anti-HERO folks very shrewdly (yes, and hatefully) put out a series of ads saying, in effect, “RUN!!! HIDE!!! The perverts are coming for your wives, sisters, and daughters!!! We have to stop them at all costs!!!” Fear works.
    I miss the days when this country wasn’t afraid of its own gd shadow, when naked appeals to fear weren’t automatically successful

    • WUSRPH

      When was it when naked appeals to fear weren’t successful? Seems to have worked that way for most of our history.

      • dave in texas

        Fair point. I maybe should have said naked appeals to fear over things that aren’t the least bit frightening, or in this case, appeals to fear over things that don’t really even exist. One of the things that was pointed out in the TM story from several months ago about the first radio ad is that there hasn’t been a single instance anywhere of a man posing as a trans person assaulting a woman in a restroom.

        You and I are old enough to remember the existential threat posed by the Soviet Union and its thousands of nuclear missiles. At least the appeals to fear of the Soviet Union had some basis in reality. The notion that ISIS or Al Qaeda are going to sneak across the border from Mexico and murder us all in our beds is BS of the first order, though. That’s the kind of thing I was thinking about.

        • Erica Grieder

          Dave, that’s a good point about how cultural change on gay rights came about, and you’re right to say that many of the people who are responding to the lurid bathroom stories are susceptible in part because they don’t have countervailing experience with transgender people. At the same time, I think the historically rapid cultural change on gay marriage–I mean, I’m old enough to remember when marriage was considered a bourgeois and patriarchal institution, and I’m not that old–may have created a misleading impression among some LGBTQ supporters about the scope of that cultural change.

          • MelissaCyn15

            A recent poll Pew poll revealed that 65% of the public knew or had a friend who was gay but only 8% could say that about a transperson. So, when issues arise about gays, they are more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt. Before a person casts a vote on gay rights, they may stop and think, “Hey, I know that nice your couple Jim and Fred next door and they are pretty good neighbors.” That will inevitably influence their vote. The same cannot be said for transpersons.

            Here is the rub. The way that you get to know these minorities is through personal contact with them. Most frequently that will be at work or, perhaps in a restaurant. So, if a transwoman is required to use the men’s restroom in a restaurant or at work, she will be less likely to venture out into those public places. She will have a very real fear of being harmed or humiliated for just engaging in a biological function in which we must all engage.

            So, she will sit at home and not interract with the public. She will have difficulty holding a job and will join the transpersons who are four times more likely to live in poverty than the general population. She will become lonely and isolated and more prone to join the 41% of transpersons who have attempted to take their lives.

            You will have to excuse me, Erica. I enjoyed your article, but I am a transwoman. I live in the Seattle area and work for Costco as who I truly am. I have never encountered a problem. Seattle has had an Equal Rights Ordinance protecting LGBT for the last thirty years, with no major problem.

            It is obvious to me that I would not be welcome in Texas, or at least in Houston. Fortunately for me, I have to plans to visit the Lone Star State anytime soon.

    • Josh McIntosh

      Those ads apparently worked. the “men in the bathrooms”, “don’t look Ethel” And actually, it is an equal rights ordinance that most cities have. Whatever. It does send a message that Texas is redneck but we already achieved this many, many years ago.

  • Jed

    this is what i get from this piece:

    A) Houston is OK with gay people – it even has a gay mayor! – and transphobia is different than homophobia (in what way?), so Houston isn’t intolerant, per se, just because a majority of its voters appear motivated by transphobic campaigning.

    B1) Houston previously had a non-discrimination ordinance (passed by City Council and not the voters, I presume), which is evidence of its capacity for fairness. B2) The fact that its replacement was just voted down in referendum is no reason to doubt the fairness postulated in B1.

    C) There was other stuff on the ballot, so even those Houstonians who voted intolerantly may not be solely motivated by intolerance. Only just when they clicked that one button.

    D) There are a lot of people in group A who are angry at members of the presumptively larger group B, and many of them are now vocally referring to group B as “bigots.” Since group A exists and is concerned about bigotry in group B, this suggests that bigotry is not a problem.

    did i get it right?

    • Erica Grieder

      Jed, setting aside the fact that you’re willfully mischaracterizing my argument for no apparent reason, this is like the germ theory of disease thing. You can’t reasonably expect to schoolmarm me about intolerance while simultaneously interrogating my comment that homophobia and transphobia are differently rooted.

      • dave in texas

        Eh, you can’t win, Erica. Jed thinks you’re a shill for right-wingers; JBB thinks you’re a shill for left-wingers. You must be doing something right. 😉

        • MeNErica against all low information bozos.

          • Jed

            the fact that you think she agrees with you is all the evidence i need for my position.

          • Indiana Pearl

            She’s just not that into you, Booksie.

          • MeNErica yawl have no idea….

        • Jed

          false equivalence. it’s possible one of us is right, not necessary that we’re both wrong.

      • Jed

        i absolutely did not willfully mischaracterize your argument. i rendered it directly from your text. that is the point. if you meant to say something different, then either you’re right that i can’t read, or i’m right that you can’t write.

    • Rules of Blazon

      A+ for the summary. That’s exactly right.

      It’s really something, isn’t it, that the New York Times was up with a recap (much more quickly than TM, by the way) that concisely honed in on what happened and why. The NYT correctly noted that people like Dannie Goeb and Greg Abbott “will be remembered as latter-day Jim Crow elders” for their pandering to the hatemongers.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/05/opinion/in-houston-hate-trumped-fairness.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=1

      That’s the single most important takeaway here: those who hold all the levers of power in Texas government are indistinguishable from the fringiest of the lying bigots, the most abhorrent element of our society.

      You would think that the Texas press would want to say or do something about this. Alas.

    • Kristen Capps

      Jed, Houston did not previously have a non-discrimination ordinance. Mr. Burka is actually mistaken.

  • gordo

    Nice, Erica. Thanks.

    • Erica Grieder

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • OldBlindBob

    Progressives seem to believe that citizens are morons who don’t know how to act unless there’s a government ordinance telling us what we can say, do and think. These bullsh*t HERO ordinances are pure progressive bullsh*t. Did I mention that they were also bullsh*t? The only possible reason to introduce these ordinances (which are bullsh*t, by the way) is to generate lawsuits. And who benefits from lawsuits? A: The same bullsh*tters who introduce the ordinances. The lefties always say, “follow the money.” I say, “Follow the bullsh*t and you will likely find some money.”

    • Indiana Pearl

      Your mama should wash your mouth out with soap.

  • Kris Weibel

    This is not about bathrooms; this is about Human Rights. Apparently the bigots in Texas don’t understand the ‘human’ part of the equation.

    • Mark Coopers

      As a Houstonian, I’d like to echo the author’s comment that Houstonians are being unfairly labeled as “bigots”. We’re not ALL bigots, racists, transphobic, (add your own pejorative), et cetera. The comment above is just parroting the same “us versus them” mentality that really turns off many voters. If you’re goal is to persuade, then persuade. If you’re goal is to have someone dig in their heels after painting them into a corner, then add the insults. (soapbox off)
      .
      Back on topic, one can posit that this inclusive ordinance was the first one out of the gate – and got run over by the fact that Houstonians didn’t have the stomach to be the leader on the “next frontier of social justice” (as Ms. Grieder wrote). Personally, I think we were moving too fast, too soon. Gay marriage became the law of the land only last summer and now we’re beating the drums on trans justice. All the hoopla over Bruce/Caitlyn only added to “social justice fatigue”.
      .
      So, I implore those that want to heap scorn on Houston to take a deep knee bend, breathe, and realize the constructive and strategic move is to work on persuading 13% of the electorate to change their minds so that the score would be 49% against, 51% for on the next go-around.

      • Rules of Blazon

        Almost every single time I travel out of state, I have to correct people’s misperceptions about Texas and Texans based on the horrible things our high-profile Republican politicians do and say. They don’t stand for us. It’s not about changing minds so much as it is persuading people to simply show up and vote, because most Texans are just as sickened by the bigotry as me.

        Not enough of you showed up at the polls to defeat the bigots, that’s all. That doesn’t make all Houstonians bigots. You’ll get it right next time.

      • marylandworkingwoman

        In other words, we know we are unfairly oppressing yet another minority, but it is just so tiring to have given the last unfairly oppressed minority equal rights that we need to take a breather. I wonder how tired the unfairly oppressed are from waiting. Social justice fatigue indeed.

        • Mark Coopers

          Oh, please. Have you solved all of your personal problems as of right now? Have you solved all of your local societal problems in Maryland? (I think the answer to both questions is “no”.)
          .
          Given all of this, one shouldn’t get too high on one’s horse about the pace of our solving social issues when your own house still needs cleaning. Am I saying that we should stop? No – what I’m saying is cut us some slack so that we can regroup. And, to cut out the demonizing since it is counterproductive to winning the swing 13% of the electorate.

          The civil rights movement wasn’t finished in one day, one week, one month, or one year. There were setbacks for that movement. This is a temporary setback for this one.

  • Without phobias there would be no democrat party. The dems have become the head cheerleaders for fearmongering. They need more victims.

    I. e. dems want to create a new group of minorities “South Asians” to try to win a seat in Ft Bend in a statewide election, something they haven’t accomplished in over 20 years. “What is a South Asian?” you ask. According to dems it is anyone from Asia now living in America. Not only is Asia a huge continent it consists of a gazillion countries and cultures.

    Dems need victims and phobias to stay relevant.

    • Ron Kabele

      Or maybe the Democrats are just trying to be inclusive. This is a very logical long-term strategy. Unfortunately for them, Democrats are being inclusive to large segments of the population who don’t vote. But I do see a few enlightened Republicans realizing the benefits of reaching out past their shrinking and fairly confined base of supporters.

      • Inclusive or buy votes? Are dems afraid to let someone’s accomplishments speak for them or does everyone need to be a victim so dems can save them? Are you suggesting they couldn’t win an election because they are from south asia? Guv Bobby Jindal didn’t need to be in a protected minority class to win a statewide election, something dems haven’t done in over 20 years in Texas.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Jindal doesn’t live in Texas.

        • Vik Verma

          You keep bringing up South Asians with further details

          As for Bobby Jindal, Louisiana is happy to be losing him. And I can’t blame them

          • Jindal replaced the most incompetent guv La. has ever seen….did you miss her?
            Jindal has drug La into the 21st century. His leadership is quite refreshing after 100 years of democrat rulers.

          • Vik Verma

            Louisiana is broke. And even the Republican candidates for governor are running away from him and against him

          • after 100 years of democrat rule what did you expect?

          • Vik Verma

            It is Jindal under which the state of Louisiana has become broke. And he has been there almost 8 years

          • Lets deal in facts…The feds flooded La with tax payers money after Katrina….and what did she do?

            “The healthy financial balance led Blanco to increase ongoing state costs — including giving state employees pay raises -”

            http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/louisiana_budget_how_did_we_ge.html

            Surprise, she gave out huge increases to the bored state workers, causing dems to chant in unison “Its Jindal’s fault.”

            I believe we know how the game works.

            Louisiana so heavily taxed the energy industry they relocated to Texas, thank you La dems.
            It made Guv Perry look like a genius.
            Thank you dems.

          • Vik Verma

            The Dems have not been in charge in Louisiana since 2007. Jindal isn’t even popular in his own party anymore.

          • Indiana Pearl

            The LA economy is tanking.

        • Ron Kabele

          Well, at the very least, the GOP would benefit themselves by simply not badmouthing Hispanics or blacks. Whether it is Dem criticism of plutocrats or GOP criticism of minorities, nothing is accomplished. That’s one reason I so despise your writings and almost always ignore them. I was encouraged recently when Congress passed a budget. Was it perfect, of course not. It’s not meant to be. But they quietly went about doing their job.

    • Indiana Pearl

      South Asians are usually considered to be from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. “South” is the operative word.

      What scares you, Booksie? Are you afraid that swarthy, but highly educated voters will choose a Democrat?

      • Indiana Pearl
        • No what scares me is haf-wits voting.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Election judges” like you scare ME. How many persons of color did you challenge on Tuesday?

          • the ones with no photo ID…its the law yanno.

      • You missed my point, it is a made up group of cultures that normally wouldn’t spit on each other and the dems are trying to buy their vote.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Those groups have lived together for centuries in other countries and do so in the U.S. Your statement is, as always, incorrect.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Your knowledge of Indian history is stunted. Dalrymple is describing Partition.

          • so there’s no conflict between India and Pakistan?….lol

          • Vik Verma

            Between the countries — yes. But here, that isn’t necessarily the case between the two groups. There are strong cultural similarities between Indian Punjabis and Pakistani Punjabis, as an example

          • There’s no conflict between Hindus and Muslims? Vik where have you been?

          • Vik Verma

            In my family, we have had interfaith marriages with Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians. Multiple ones.

            Indian and Pakistani Punjabis will have more in common culturally than Indian Punjabis and Gujaratis.

            And since you are so hung up on religion, there are more Muslims in India than Pakistan.

            I know about conflict between Hindus and Muslims. You have chosen to base your whole view of the South Asian community on that. There are many more facets than that, particularly here in the United States

          • Indiana Pearl

            Making a fool of yourself again . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Hopelessly stupid. Read about Indian history before you make a fool of yourself again.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Reading comprehension is not your strength:

            “Across the Indian subcontinent, communities that had COEXISTED FOR ALMOST A MILLENIUM attacked each other in a terrifying outbreak of sectarian violence . . .”

            The British abandoned India in a big hurry after WWII and their lack of planning cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

            Stick with what you know.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Here’s a great article as to why Asians of all types are voting Democratic:

          http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_12/why_do_asian_americans_vote_so041529.php

          The GOP caused this problem. Now they’re whining.

        • Vik Verma

          South Asia isn’t a new term — as an Indian-American myself, I’ve seen it referenced and referred to a lot. Indians and Pakistanis are from different countries, but they share more in common than you think

          • No one said it was a new term, it is a new ploy by dems to create a new minority class. Vik do you see yourself as a minority if so why? Do you think we should carve out a district so only a Vietnamese or a Chinese or a Japanese or someone from Turkey can represent you? can represent you?
            That is what dems are trying to do.

          • Vik Verma

            Well, John, let’s go to your original statement about “dems want to create a new group of minorities “South Asians” to try to win a seat in Ft Bend in a statewide election, something they haven’t accomplished in over 20 years”

            What seat is that and how are Democrats trying to do that? You mentioned the example. Please elaborate.

          • You should keep up. Dems sued and Van de putte’s bro-in-law Judge Orlando Garcia redrew the districts and SCOTUS over turned it. Dems are making another run at it through the courts. They can’t win elections so they sue and sue and sue..and redraw….and sue…and sue.

          • Vik Verma

            Again, you mentioned South Asians and Fort Bend County. So again — please elaborate on that

          • I just explained it…and you missed it. Why should I explain it again?

          • Indiana Pearl

            You babbled incoherently and explained nothing.

          • Rules of Blazon

            Just ignore the troll.

          • I usually do..except when Erica face palms you…
            Then I laff….

          • Indiana Pearl

            My congressman lives in Dallas. I live in Austin. That’s egregious gerrymandering to protect Republicans.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Voter suppression is what YOU are attempting.

          • John Johnson

            Yes, an extreme hate of each other. Is that what you were referring to?

          • Vik Verma

            I was talking about culture. It was one India before 1947 when the British gave subcontinent its final, terrible parting gift.

            And over here, it isn’t that uncommon for Indians to have Pakistani friends and vice-versa. I’ve had a few

          • John Johnson

            I’m sorry, I’m not buying it. While all “Southern Asians” might have similar skin color characteristics, little else seems to meld because of religious differences. Regardless of what JBB espouses, it was the same with whites here in the U.S. and remains so to some extent. How did Christians treat Catholics? Mormons?
            Voting districts are a joke. They actually promote division instead of assimilation. If we had any sense, we would use common boundries such as county lines as a starting point for creating political districts.

          • LBJ’s law encourages gerrymandering and now it hurts the democrat party. Just another example of overreach by dems.

          • John Johnson

            Like most things, I’m not too hung up on who started it; I prefer to find a fix for the problem…and it is a big problem. Gerrymandering is no different than dividing up into teams by skin color, or segregating schools. We are either going to be an assimilated country or we’re not. Gerrymandered districts with snaking borders that resemble the outline of a slithering snake insure marked divisions remain.

          • Vik Verma

            It’s not for you to buy or not buy. It isn’t your life. In my family, we have had interfaith marriages with Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians. Multiple ones.

            Indian and Pakistani Punjabis will have more in common culturally than Indian Punjabis and Gujaratis.

            And since you are so hung up on religion, there are more Muslims in India than Pakistan.

            As far as voting districts, I don’t know of a South Asian voting district. The community isn’t large enough to have one in the first place.

            But if you are so concerned about it, let’s get rid of gerrymandering.

          • John Johnson

            Yep, all is well over there in “South Asia”. Those people along the Pakistan/India border love each other. History shows us that.

          • Vik Verma

            Why do you assume that the relationships in the subcontinent and the relationships here are the same? They are not.

            And for the record, the line of control (not border) where there are issues is in Kashmir, a Muslim-majority state on both sides of the line.

          • John Johnson

            The point is, there is no homogeneous, we all love each other mix in “South Asia”. To suggest otherwise is simply goofy.

          • Vik Verma

            There is no homogeneous, we all love each other mix within India, Pakistan, or other South Asian countries, either. And I didn’t suggest that either.

            And I will reiterate, the experience of the South Asian community in Texas and the United States is not the same as it is in the subcontinent. I would think that this would be obvious, but I guess it is not

          • John Johnson

            As an ex-pat, on occasion over the years, I understand how the “gringos” from all over gather together. I’m sure it is the same with people from places like Bangledesh, India and Pakistan who are here. I understand that.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Your knowledge of history is appalling.

            Your REAL hope is to deny South Asian Americans the right to vote – “election judge”? What a joke!

          • John Johnson

            And you have no idea where I’m coming from so knock it off. I could care less whether or not “South Asians” are allowed to have a gerrymandered district all their own. Both sides use the same lame reasons for these fractious, discombobulated voting areas. It is stupid and simply promotes segregation, distrust and continued problems.

            Furthermore, I think my knowledge of the region’s conflicts are sufficient to know that there is nothing homogenic about the various nationalities and factions that make up this new found “South Asia” region you reference. Mr. Verma wants to tell me that he has “friends” of other national and religious persuasions, and that this shows a strong bond of some sorts. That’s b.s. It’s as if my saying that I have some Black Muslim friends here in the U.S. makes us one big happy family.

          • Indiana Pearl

            See above or below.

            You know nothing.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Smug and uniformed.

          • John Johnson

            Then educate me. I say that their modern history is built upon all sorts of national and religious unrest that manifested itself in horrendous violent acts. What say you?

          • Indiana Pearl

            I am very blah from antibiotics, but let’s take this one step at a time:

            Ancient India – 5000 years ago – Dravidian culture in the Indus River, an advanced farming/entrepreneurial community with sophisticated public health measures comparable to the Romans of a much later period.

            My ancestors – and yours – were painting themselves blue and living in trees.

          • John Johnson

            Pearl, 5,000 years ago??? I’m talking about murdering men and children, and raping and disfiguring women less than 60 years ago. Which is more pertinent with regards to how various factions might view each other today.

          • Indiana Pearl

            As usual you attempt to pour an ocean of history into a teacup and read the tea leaves.

            Boring . . .

          • John Johnson

            Go away, Pearl. Recent history, with relation to political and religious conflict, is pertinent to the discussion…the situation there 5,000 years ago is not…unless you plan on dragging this sideline discussion on for a long, long time. I do not. Go write a book or something…just leave me alone.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Then don’t keep returning with inanities . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            JJ, I’ve been to India twice, most recently in June with my son. Both times I visited the India-Pakistani border to see a ceremony at the Wagah border crossing. It’s the only land passage between the two countries and is located in a large territory guarded by the Punjabi Police.

            I was surprised to see how much vehicle traffic goes back and forth between India and Pakistan EVERY SINGLE DAY – passenger and trucks with all sorts of produce and goods.

            Long before Partition Hindus and Muslims got along fairly well, much better than white and blacks in the U. S. Remember, they are all close cousins.

            You are making a fool of yourself with this.

            Read a few of Dalrymple’s books. I’ve read all of them.

            Booksie’s only interest in South Asians is that he wants to prevent them from voting.

          • John Johnson

            A fool, huh? When is the last time we had border guards shooting at each other along our border with Canada? How did Bangledesh come to be? Ever any genocide take place in the region in the last 60 years. You don’t know squat…you just stayed at a Holiday Inn express while there, I guess.

          • Indiana Pearl

            How did East and West Pakistan come to be? No cheating!

            Voter supression is the name of the game. Why else would anyone care about ethnic groups in Ft. Bend County?

          • John Johnson

            By religious differences after GB left in 1947 or 1948, I believe.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Try again.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Let’s look closer to home – Mexico/Texas/US relationships have not always been sweetness and light.

          • Indiana Pearl

            An authority on Indo-Pakistani history and politics? Where did you get your education? From watching Fox Snooze?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Carhilics ARE Christians . . . the first ones.

          • John Johnson

            Actually, Catholics are in a group by themselves, if I remember my confirmation class teachings…Roman, Anglican and Greek Orthodox.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Catholics, both eastern and Roman, then protestants after 1400 years.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Wow! Are you confused!!!!

          • John Johnson

            No, i don’t think so. Of course, Catholics are Christians. I should have said Protestants. The divisions of the Catholic Church are correct, unless Father Hefner taught me wrong.

          • hahaha you will never learn, she is clueless simply solid rock between the ears.

  • You just can’t help yourself, you will never change a lefties biased opinion. They simply lack the critical thinking skills to accept facts.

    • John Johnson

      Surely you are not addressing this comment to me. I have neither the time or inclination to try and change anyone’s mind, much less whatcamacallit’s. I simply state my positions and the reasons why.

  • The grownups in the room don’t find Houstonians and Texans so bigoted after all. What we do find is democrats failed miserably at trying to control our thoughts.

    “The liberal white lady du jour is Houston mayor Annise Parker, who has just failed — spectacularly — in her tireless and ruthless campaign to bring Houstonians’ private opinions under political discipline through a so-called civil-rights ordinance that would have made the abolition of penis-bearing persons (we used to call them “men”) from the ladies’ locker room an official offense in the same category of wrongdoing as shoving Rosa Parks to the back of the bus.”
    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/426590/houston-bathroom-ordinance-annise-parker-democratic-party

    Many democrat supporters pride themselves on their groupthink as the DNC takes their enlightened azzes over the cliff.

    • Ron Kabele

      The quote from the National Journal is mighty dismissive of the problems transgender folks go through.

      • Indiana Pearl

        All part of Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy – “scare white people . . .”

        • There is no southern strategy liberals are automatically scared of shadows, rumors or the bogeyman under the bed.

      • No…what is missing from the left’s mindset is respect for my rights.

        • Indiana Pearl

          What rights? The right to discriminate? If you’re scared of trans folks in the men’s room, pee at home.

          • whats with you being so afraid I’m afraid or something?

          • Indiana Pearl

            You’re terrified of losing your white privilege.

          • Like a 3yr old with learning kaka…dems have a new word.

          • Indiana Pearl

            You are incoherent.

          • you vacillate between clueless and inebriated both are hilarious.

  • Rules of Blazon

    I can’t defend Carly Fiorina, that’s for sure. I don’t know who the others are you’re referring to.

  • Ignoring the bathroom discussion, what quantifiable problem would have the ordinance solved?
    Give concrete examples of things that happened — not just the concept of discrimination — that would not have happened, if said ordinance had been in existence.
    I think the pro-HERO folks did a bad job selling it.

  • Indiana Pearl

    In my health care career, I encountered several individuals who were “trans” or becoming “trans.” Female-to-male transitions were most successful (undetectable). Male-to-female were not so “undetectable.”

    Reputable health care providers require that patients delay surgery until they’ve “lived” the life of the gender they’ve chosen.

    I know a few couples who were married right here in Texas (Take that, Rick Perry and Greg Abbott!) after one of the partners transitioned to a male. They are leading productive, stable lives.

    Fear and narrow-mindedness are bad for Texas and bad for America.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/this-trans-woman-asks-you-really-want-me-in-the-same-bathroom-as-your-husband_563b997fe4b0411d3070003a

    • John Johnson

      The liberal media’s bombarding me with nonstop stories about poor Bruce Jenner irritated me. The whole Kardashian/Jenner saga that we have had crammed at us is nauseating. Pornstar to mainstream TV? Really? After the Odum story, we might expect the next news flash to be about Jenner getting beat up in the backseat of a car outside a seedy Hollywood bar by a really irrate John. It was not Chaz Bono who I thought about when the pre-vote HERO controversy began…it was Bruce Jenner and his/her need to make his personal life part of mine every time I turned on the tube, the radio, or picked up a magazine. We are bombarded with crap. It grows old. Want my support? Don’t force feed me. That isn’t fear – it’s anger; that isn’t narrow mindedness – it’s an aversion to Caitlynn’s face.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Bruce/Caitlyn and the whole Kardashian clan are boring opportunists who will do anything to make money. Just change the channel. What is it you say about letting other people live inside your head???

        This campaign has been an appeal to the worst elements of human nature. I’m 72 years old and have never seen a urinal in a women’s bathroom.

        • John Johnson

          Who’d you pick that term up from? It made me smile.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I heard that expression ages ago, but most recently from you.

            There is nothing new under the sun . . .

      • Unwound

        i realize ive posted this before, but i think its high time it got brought out again

        • John Johnson

          That’s funny. I like it.

        • Indiana Pearl

          More please!

  • Dona Dunsmore

    What is always missing in these discussions is the fact that we are voting on peoples’ rights which should be equal. The only reasons posted here for voting against this ordinance is that the person doesn’t like being told that they have to do the right thing. They apparently don’t even believe that men will dress up as women so as to use the ladies restroom. smh.

  • WUSRPH

    Understanding why they did it, does not mean that we can excuse it.

    • John Johnson

      See above

  • John Johnson

    You think anyone who voted against the proposition is looking for your forgiveness, WUSRPH?

    • WUSRPH

      No….that would be a ridiculous suggestion….but that still does not mean we can excuse their behavior or their being stampeded by disgusting propaganda. The fact that is was so easy demonstrates a compelling reason why we need such laws in the first place. Protecting the minority from the majority is one of the primary purposes of the Constitution after all. But, as you keep telling us, the average voter is stupid and does not know what is going on.

      • John Johnson

        All the ignorant voters heard was that the “Men’s” and “Women’s” signs were going to be replaced. With what, I’m not sure anyone knew. It worked. It was goofy of the proponents to even allow the transgender restroom issue to enter the fray. It was also goofy to pick a fight with Christian preachers. Want to get the asleep-at-the-wheel voters awake? Bring up the fact a guy in a dress might be hanging in restroom or lockeroom next to your daughter, or poke their pastor in the eye, and you’ve got wide awake.

        • WUSRPH

          How you keep transgender out of an ordinance that covers discrimination I do not know. The proponents did not bring it up….the opponents did….I assume you mean that the way to handle it was to not protect this group’s rights.

          • John Johnson

            It’s called “overreach”. Whoever decided to get Berkman on air talking about it was very smart. The proponents had no answer for it. The unisex bathroom just doesn’t get it. Is it now understood in cities with anti discrimination ordinances that a gay guy can use the women’s room whenever he wants to? That a guy in a dress can? How about a gym lockeroom? The lack of clarity on this issue will continue to cause problems.

        • Indiana Pearl

          I suspect many a man in drag has been in a women’s restroom. There are no genitalia exams to gain admittance.

          • John Johnson

            No doubt about it, but the question is, “Was it legal?”

          • Indiana Pearl

            Stupid laws are meant to be broken.

            I’ve been in unisex bathrooms many times. I go into a stall.

          • John Johnson

            Wow…what a woman! Brash. Bold. From Indiana. Was probably intoxicated. True or false?

            I have traveled in most all parts of the world. Even in the lessor developed regions, I don’t ever remember seeing a “unisex” sign.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Absolutely sober. Taking antibiotics.

            YouNBooksie shriek “gin” when you get frustrated.

            As I said before, Roosevelt and Churchill did a fine job with copious amounts of gin. You might try it.

          • John Johnson

            It has nothing to do with being frustrated…I just don’t know many sober women who decide to enter a men’s restroom for the heck of it. Maybe in Indiana…

          • Indiana Pearl

            If the women’s room is occupied and the men’s isn’t, it’s a no-brainer.

          • John Johnson

            Drunk, I’m thinking.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Frustrated again when you don’t get your way . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            They don’t say “unisex.” They say “restroom” or “WC.”

          • John Johnson

            And they have a lock on the door.

  • Jay Trainor

    I understand small businesses don’t need more government intervention but as a practical matter, why not require new larger establishments start the process of having unisex restrooms? The Monument Cafe in Georgetown, built about 15-20 years ago, has them and there has been no complaints that I’ve heard of.

  • Rules of Blazon

    Let’s try it this way:

    If the question is “Do you believe that gay people should have all the same legal rights as straight people,” what is your answer?

    • John Johnson

      Don’t know about Ms. Grieder, but my answer is “yes”. Just leave “Women” and “Men” on the restroom and lockeroom doors. It’s really pretty simple.

      • Rules of Blazon

        Exemplary, Mr. Johnson. It’s really pretty simple, as you say. The answer to the question is “yes.”

        Earlier today, I asked Matt Krause the same question. He doesn’t see it your way.

        • John Johnson

          You just don’t get it, because it is all or nothing with you; it is the same with those on the other extreme end of the spectrum. Matt Krause is my Dist 93 Rep. We have disagreed on several issues. We have shared emails and talked personally about them. I have made a small money contribution to his campaign. I like him; more importantly, I trust and respect him.

          • Rules of Blazon

            You should ask the bigot to return your money. He won’t miss it. Empower Texans has him well-covered.

  • John Johnson

    Just to prolong the bigoted and racist tag several of you have hung on me, I am wondering why it seems that every auto ad tonight during SEC football games shows interracial couples? More and more major corporations are doing the same. Why? These relationships and marriages, while no longer uncommon, are the exception…so why are a disproportionate number of mixed race actor families being broadcast to us as if this was the new norm?

    • to most dems perception is reality.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Why does this concern you?

      • John Johnson

        Sorry, but that is a really ignorant question.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Why does it bother you that interracial couples are shown in advertisements? Who cares?

          • John Johnson

            There is an agenda, it would seem. I would just like to know why.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Therenis an “agenda” when all we see on Fox News are white people.

          • John Johnson

            That is an outright false statement. Some would call it a “lie”. Various ethnic groups are well represented on FOX.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Like 3/10s of one percent . . .

          • John Johnson

            You are wrong. All wrong. Totally wrong.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Evidence, please.

          • John Johnson

            Juan WIlliams, Harris Faulkner, and Geraldo come to mind, plus countless staff reporters. Watch O’Reilly, Kelly, or Hannity and you see minorities every night.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Hahaha!

          • John Johnson

            What’s wrong? They aren’t ethnic enough for you?

          • Indiana Pearl

            No, just that they don’t even BEGIN to represent the actual percentage of races in America. If you were a Martian who watched Fox, you’d think America was populated with bleached blond females whose skirts end mid-thigh.

          • John Johnson

            First, you are wrong about the proportion. Second, you should check out those women’s’ resumes. Third, there are several with dark hair. Fourth, why are you slamming the fact they have lots of attractive women?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Don’t patronize women, JJ.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Got any evidence to support your hypothesis?

            Nada . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            I have/had very dark hair. Guess my ethnicity.

          • Pearl is now identifying with Rachael……

          • Indiana Pearl

            Checking out election irregularities in Ft. Bend County . . .

          • John Johnson

            Got any evidence to support your hypothesis?

          • WUSRPH

            Are you suggesting that the media is pushing interracial marriages? So, what is so wrong about that? Do you think each should stay with “their own”?

          • John Johnson

            What’s wrong with “pushing” racial marriages? Why would they? Why wouldn’t they occasionally show an interracial couple, which is representative of societal norms, instead of having a disproportionate number in their ads?

          • Indiana Pearl

            You’ve run off the the rails. Youn were complaining about too many interracial couples earlier.

          • John Johnson

            Hang it up for the night, Pearl. The dots aren’t connecting for you.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Oh. Gee. Thanks!

            Snarky old white guy . . .

          • WUSRPH

            You probably only see what you want or expect to see as I doubt there are that many. Ads are carefully aimed at the expected market or audience for the shows….I doubt you will see car manufacturers pushing for many social changes…But, in any case, are you advocating some sort of a racial/ethnic quota system for advertisements? That would certainly result in a lot more Hispanics in ads in Texas….Your sensitivity to the ads suggests a disapproval of the practice…..Surely you do not intend that to be the case?

          • John Johnson

            No, they are overloading. Yeah, more Hispanic ads here would seem warranted. Yes, I don’t like it and want to know why they are doing it.

          • WUSRPH

            I do not think you understood my question. I was suggesting that you did not mean to make it appear that you disapproved of interracial marriages. You appear to have thought I was talking about these particular ads.

          • WUSRPH

            You seemed to have taken a while to notice something that is not that new. The Associated Press was reporting on it back in 2005….more than 10 years ago.

            http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6975669/ns/us_news-life/t/multiracial-scenes-now-common-tv-ads/#.Vj_lhP-FOic

          • John Johnson

            I noticed it years ago, but did not think much about it. Last night it was nonstop with several ads from several companies that depicted interracial couples. Your link says it all. Thank you.

          • Indiana Pearl

            The advertisers choose those ads because they help increase sales. That’s capitalism!

          • Indiana Pearl

            Did you count them?

  • There are half truths and outright lies in both of ahem Obama’s books yet the media looks the other way while attacking the black republican Ben Carson.

    • John Johnson

      I know more about Bin Laden’s background than I do Obama’s.

      • You can thank the state run media

      • Indiana Pearl

        You know lots about Obama, but you refuse to believe it.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Carson appears to be suffering from the after effects of a stroke.

  • Democrats threaten “if you don’t agree with me we’ll shut this site down”

    “In the face of rising vitriol — attacks, bigotry and general nastiness — news organizations are increasingly throwing in the towel on online comments.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/nastiness-threatens-online-reader-comments-053929979.html

    As dems continue to lose power they will step up the attacks.

    Socialists want to control your actions and Mayor Parker’s Hero Ordinance is an example in how far they will go to control your actions.

    Conservatives need to show up and speak up in 2016.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Did you read this article?

      • WUSRPH

        It is clear that anti-discrimination laws CANNOT change people’s attitudes toward their fellow man or particular groups of mankind—as clearly demonstrated by a few posters on this blog.

        That, however, is not the true purpose of such laws. They are not designed to change how you think (if you do)….BUT rather to change HOW YOU ACT.

        Many can (and will) continue to hate racial minorities and ethnics or people with different sexual orientations or even blue-eyed people all they want…BUT when there are adequate anti-discrimination laws on the books they CAN NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THEM in public places and businesses without the possibility of having to pay some penalty. This is behavior regulation; not thought control.

  • My work here is done……

    • Indiana Pearl

      You keep saying that, but you never leave.

      “Welcome to the Hotel California . . .”

      Checking into voter suppression in Ft. Bend County is on my list for tomorrow.

      • I say alot of things to irritate you….its call freedom of speech. Didn’t we have this conversation last week?

        • Indiana Pearl

          Every day . . .

          Hey, I think I can fix you up with Racheal.

  • Kristen Capps

    The “existing protections” you cite did not exist at all except to the extent they existed under state or federal law or that Mayor Parker and previous mayors have been able to effect them by executive order on a limited basis. The link just links back to an article on the passage of HERO in May 2014, when City Council first passed it. Mayor Parker spoke at the University of Houston a few weeks ago. She said that when she and the city attorney started working on this issue, they thought they would be adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Houston’s existing non-discrimination law. She was very surprised to find out we did not have one, not even for race, religion, or gender. Therefore, when our African-American neighbors get turned away at local establishments, or asked to pay a cover that white patrons do not, which happened here just a few weeks ago, the City of Houston can do nothing about it.

  • Indiana Pearl
  • Left wingers vs the truth, never has the left been more exposed than with the attacks on Ben Carson….

    “Later, Cheney wrote an angry op-ed about his detention. He attacked “the Bushies” and “Republican demagogues.” He decried the “amBush” in which he was arrested–during a protest he admits he knew had no permit–and attacked “the New York City Police Department and its henchmen,” slamming “the steady stream of outright lies and unmitigated praise for the law enforcement effort spewing from the bowels of Madison Square Garden.”

    Politico “author” exposed….meanwhile there is peace and harmony between India and Pakistan…

    • Indiana Pearl

      More peace and harmony than in the U.S. Who shot Judge Kocurek? Guns and hunting are outlawed in India . . .

  • Indiana Pearl
    • Ben scares dems because he a Christian…

      • Indiana Pearl

        Ben scares EVERYONE because he’s confused. Your kinda guy . . .

        • Ben is beating Hillary in polling and suddenly he gets attacked by the media, coincidence?…not likely.
          Ben is a Christian that scares libs, me not so much.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Only with Republicans . . . analysis is not your strong suit.

          • actually it is…..

  • Rules of Blazon

    This Matt Krause turns out to be a real piece of work. He was one of the 19 who voted for the hapless Scott Turner to be speaker. He has taken thousands upon thousands of dollars from Empower Texans, Tim Dunn, TLR, and all kinds of shady PACs. Also, he’s a lawyer, so when he whined about “subpoenas of sermons”, he was double-lying.

  • Another dem arrested for voter fraud….

    “The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office says a Grand Prairie woman who’s not a U.S. citizen has been indicted by a grand jury for illegally voting in several Dallas County elections dating back to 2004.”

    http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2015/11/non-u-s-citizen-indicted-in-tarrant-county-for-illegally-voting-in-dallas-county.html/

    and dems say this just doesn’t happen….

    • Indiana Pearl
      • you should have read the article…

        “Fleming, who owns a home in Yardley, voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary in Texas. His wife, Nancy Fleming, who is listed as a resident of Yardley, voted by mail in both places in the 2010 general election, records show.”

        he voted for Hillary, he was dem plant. His wife voted twice too and then turned him in. They were getting a divorce. think she was not a crazy….

        • Indiana Pearl

          “A Dem plant . . .”?

          “You can’t make this stuff up.”

          —- Dave Barry

          • “Fleming, who owns a home in Yardley, voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary in Texas.

            yeah I know republicans routinely vote for dems….

  • Holy moly Carson is talking about firing 7.5 million federal employees…a man after my own heart.
    635 federal agencies? Can you say bureaucracy?
    MeNBen cut cut cut…

    No wonder dems hate him…well and he is a Christian…..yanno?

  • Can we have a thread about something dems find really important like apostrophe abuse?

  • Who knew….

    “That’s a typical result when Big Business and Big Government collude. And when it’s Big International Business and Big International Government cutting the deal, the damage can be even worse.”

    http://dailysignal.com/2015/11/06/the-cozy-relationship-between-big-business-and-climate-change-activists/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=thffacebook

    Climate change was about big government and big business driving up energy costs……

  • Today is the Marine Corps 240th birthday, thank a marine today.

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/11/marine_corps_240th_birthday_no.html

  • 6660splendidday

    The only difference between RW Christians and ISIS, Geography.

  • 6660splendidday

    There is another story that must be told. Houston is a very diverse city
    which is also majority-minority. There is a large enough percentage of
    the population that understands discrimination that an ordinance like
    HERO should have no problem passing. While HERO was defeated by a 61 to
    39 percent margin, in predominantly black districts
    it was defeated 72 to 28 percent. It’s expected that those who haven’t
    been discriminated against and have displayed little or no empathy for the
    plight of the poor or disenfranchised would willfully allow themselves
    to believe the perverted anti-HERO ads. For those however, who have faced
    discrimination themselves, it requires something deeper, something more profound.
    There was a very unholy alliance that occurred. A sect of black
    preachers allowed themselves to be co-opted by the right-wing religious
    complex.
    The day after Black Pastors got the NO vote on HERO gift-packaged
    from the Black community,, the crazy White religious fanatics went
    back to yapping how “inferior” Black people are ,how irresponsible and
    lazy they are and always shouting to the world that Blacks have no
    decent aims in life but stealing and killing. Lazy, stupid with no aims
    in life but to stealing and murder. Oh, yeah, their very favorite..
    “Blacks want the free-stuff” they want to spend their lives on food
    stamps. Repeat, do not rinse and repeat….That is what the pious
    right-wing screeches about the Black people. Well, once again Blacks
    have been had. And this time they asked for it. I have always said that
    Blacks were their own worst enemies.