Houston is the 4th largest city in the US and the only one of the top ten that doesn't protect LGBT people from discrimination. Now that the same-sex marriage issue is settled, discrimination protection is at the top of our needs. And there won't be a federal response for a while. So LGBT advocacy groups in various cities and states are gearing up to make it happen locally. So Houston is seen as critical. Will Houston confirm the direction of equality or will knock the wind out of a lot of sails? Will find out Tuesday.
Naturally, lots of time, money, and effort from across the country is being focused on Houston. I got an email from the Michigan equal rights group asking if I'd be willing to be a part of the campaign and call people in Houston. Of course, lots of time, money, and effort is also coming from our opponents. And they're pulling out all the nasty attack lines they've developed over the years. Mayor Annise Parker, who is lesbian and completing her third term, said:
The fact there is so much misinformation and not just misinformation, just out and out ludicrous lies, is very frustrating. I'm worried about the image of Houston around the world as a tolerant, welcoming place if this goes down.