Hall for all the haters

He is who we thought he was.

Dave Wilson

Dave Wilson

Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall said Thursday he signed a petition seeking to define gender identity and prevent men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms because he wants to protect the right to vote.

Hall’s press conference at his Montrose law firm comes three days after an LGBT blog reported that Hall signed the request, which it framed as “anti-gay.”

“I’m trying to correct the record about people who are mischaracterizing why we signed the petition. I want to make sure we change that narrative,” said Hall, who was accompanied by his wife. “We signed this petition because everybody has the right to vote, whether you like the outcome or not.”

Hall added that he “will protect all our citizens from illegal discrimination, gay or straight.”

Of this year’s crowded slate of mayoral contenders, Hall, the 2013 mayoral runner-up, is the most vocal opponent of the city’s equal rights ordinance, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, and family, marital or military status.

A picture of Hall’s signature was posted to the HOUEquality Facebook page a few days ago; Hair Balls confirmed it was in fact Hall’s autograph. I think everyone would agree that the one sure beneficiary of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling is Hall, who is the one Mayoral candidate with any visibility who is full-on for repeal. He’s got Wilson and the Hotzes in his camp, and where else are these voters going to go? Bill King isn’t a HERO supporter, but I don’t see him lining up with the repeal forces, not if he wants business support. Oliver Pennington voted against HERO on Council, but he’s not in the race any more. Who else is there? As David Ortez reported, at least one fringe candidate is rabidly pro-repeal as well, but there’s a reason why fringe candidates are on the fringe. Hall is the choice of those who think that HERO was crammed down their throats, and who want very badly to stick it to Mayor Parker. And yes, that choice of words is quite deliberate.

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27 Responses to Hall for all the haters

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    So let me make sure I understand this. Everyone who is opposed to this ordinance hates Gays.

  2. I’m saying that Hall is gearing up to run a campaign that explicitly appeals to the haters. His actions so far have been quite clear.

    This is why I draw a distinction between Hall and Bill King. King will need the support of HERO opponents to get into the runoff, but I don’t expect him to run a campaign that includes making vicious lies about bathrooms and sex offenders. He has made it clear that he doesn’t support HERO, but he’s not been hateful about it. Hall has made the opposite choice.

  3. Claude says:

    This is about the democratic process.

  4. Mainstream says:

    Hall’s embrace of he Hotze/Woodfill/Welch stripe of social conservatives by showing up at their press conference undermines any claim that he just wanted to allow a vote of the people.

    And as I have noted elsewhere, Hall is a cynical opportunist, who cannot be trusted. After seeking glbt voter support, even interviewing with one glbt-supporting group, he flipped and embraced Hotze et al. Nonetheless he has been a regular and huge financial supporter of President Obama, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Congressman Lloyd Doggett, a local gay Democrat judge, and too many others to name here.

  5. Katy Anders says:

    I don’t believe that someone needs to “hate gays” in order to be against the ordinance. In fact, the opponents appeared to fall into two camps, neither of whom dealt with the issue of discrimination against gay people much at all.

    The first were ministers who dwelled almost solely with the issue of transgenders invading women’s restrooms. The second were the people listening to those ministers who therefore believed that’s what this ordinance was really about.

    Frankly, there was hardly any discussion in the news (and not much in the anti-HERO public comments) about sex orientation protections in public housing, employment, and public accommodations. I don’t know how the opponents feel about it, and they aren’t saying.

    It does seem questionable that Hall, knowing he was going to run for mayor, would sign such a divisive petitioon unless he had already decided who he wanted to throw in with.

  6. Paul Kubosh says:

    Who can be against sex orientation protections in public housing, employment and public accommodations? Perhaps the reason there wasn’t much discussion about it is because everyone agreed with that part of the ordinance?

  7. voter_worker says:

    Mr. Hall’s previous actions of representing himself as a resident of the City of Houston while maintaining a residence with a homestead exemption outside of the City limits put him on my “no vote” list years ago. This action of his simply reinforces that decision.

  8. Well, the actions of Jared Woodfill and Dave Welch and Dave Wilson and so on make it clear that a lot of people do oppose anything they define as “special rights” for gays, which the rest of us define as “equal rights”. Lots of people do indeed disagree with that part of the ordinance, for a variety of specious reasons. The focus on bathrooms (which was always there, just more in the background at the beginning) is likely because after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, some of them have come to realize that they gays aren’t going to scare voters the way they once did. It’s a change in tactic, but the belief driving it is the same as it ever was.

  9. Paul kubosh says:

    Jared woodfill, dave wilson & dave welch do not speak for all people that oppose the ordinance.

    As to the bathrooms I saw a few places in Seattle.that had some interesting bathroom designs. For instance they have a huge Starbucks that has a coed vanity and about 12 male/female bathroom stalls. I can tell you ssetup while unusal seemed to work quit well.

  10. Ross says:

    Paul, what would be a legitimate reason for opposing the ordinance? One that isn’t based on making gays feel less than full citizens with full rights?

  11. Paul kubosh says:

    Ross, I am not going to debate the ordinance here. However, I am pretty sure that if the bathroom thing was left out it would have passed unanimously or close there to. I am of the opinion it will pass now based on the earlier language I think they will use, what do you think?

  12. Jules says:

    didn’t they remove the bathroom clause before the council vote?

  13. Paul kubosh says:


  14. Paul kubosh says:

    Not to my knowledge..However I wasn’t voting.

  15. Jules says:

    Wow. Uninformed.

  16. Manuel Barrera says:

    It is still there, but in hiding but has the same effect.

    I, also, oppose homosexuals getting the same privileges as minorities, Blacks, Latinos, women and other named minorities in the Civil Rights legislation. That is also in the the ordinance.

    I have not seen the type of discrimination directed against homosexuals, as it has been to persons that are easily identifiable because of how they look. If it were so there would not be so many closet homosexuals running for office. One can read my name and determine that I am a Latino. One can look at me and determine or least think I am a Mexican or Mexican-American. Some may think Native Americans as we look almost the same, could be because our ancestors came from the same place, so says the DNA.

    By the way, I oppose affirmative action as it is now. I prefer that it would be based on class as it seems that some minorities have become rich from the privilege.

  17. Katy Anders says:

    My understanding was that the bathroom provision was taken out before the vote, but after taking it out, the mayor ran around town assuring people that it would still be covered under the remaining language.

  18. Paul Kubosh says:


    I didn’t read the final version they voted on and I am not going to read it now. I take you at your word that I am uniformed. I am just glad I acknowledged it before I could be proven wrong. 🙂

    Here is the problem Gays are discriminated against. That is obvious. When I had a house for lease I was asked if it was o.k. to lease my house to two women. I said well “that is an odd question do you think they will make rent?” The agent said yes. I said then “rent it to them.”

    However, I am a greedy fiscal conservative and I keep letting money get in the way of my morals. Heck I even represent gay people. At least I think I do. I don’t know because I don’t ask who they sleep with.

    Steven, if you are out there. I assume I even represent people who commit adultery. 🙂

  19. Paul Kubosh says:

    One more thing I think even a little discrimination is wrong. As time goes by I see the hatred focusing more and more on the born again christian crowd and less and less on the usual suspects.

    Just my perception.

  20. Ross says:

    Paul, the evangelicals bring that on themselves, by their actions and efforts to deny others the rights they themselves enjoy, simply because they don’t like anyone who is different. They see the world in black and white, and anyone who isn’t in their section of the spectrum is not deserving of equal treatment. It doesn’t help that the language they use against gays is an exact mirror of the language used to justify denial of civil rights to ethnic minorities.

    Woodfill, Hotze, Wilson, et al use specific phrases in the Bible to justify their beliefs, while ignoring similar provisions that ban mixing meat and dairy (ie a cheeseburger), mixing cloths (ie wool suit and cotton shirt), etc. That makes them hypocrites as well as haters. I firmly believe that their view of the world excludes anyone who isn’t a white Christian, with them getting to define what “Christian” means – I’ve met a number of them who state that Catholics and Mormons are not “real” Christians.

    My cynical side thinks that opposition to all things gay is driven not by “firmly held religious beliefs” but by a feeling held by the haters that gayness is icky.

  21. Paul Kubosh says:


    To be a “real” Christian you must believe that Jesus is the Son of God born from the virgin and that he was slain for our sins and that he rose from the dead on the third day.

    When Jesus was here on earth legend has it (aka bible) that he was captured by the religious leaders of that time. Those same religious leaders turned him over to Roman authorities. The Roman authorities didn’t want to crucify Jesus but the religious leaders of that time insisted.

    The problem with “evangelicas” (as you describe them) is not that gays are marrying or going into bathrooms. The problem, I believe, is that I all to often they (we) fail to do what is most important and that is to introduce people to Jesus.

    Once I introduce you to my Jesus then I must have the faith to believe that Jesus and you can work it out.

    Peace to you my fellow blogger.

  22. Manuel Barrera says:

    Paul, maybe the question was asked because they were women, not because they were Lesbian. Women have been discriminated against, fairly often.

  23. Steven Houston says:

    Not that Paul needs it but I can verify his overall credentials regarding personal discrimination toward gays. He even employed an openly gay lawyer on his staff that was involved in politics, not because the guy was gay or in spite of it, just because “A” was a decent guy with the credentials needed. He may oppose the ordinance for any number of other reasons that are tied to specific passages of the law or intended purposes but he is not the hateful, anti-gay type some might properly stereotype some of the opposition. He and I agree on many more things than we disagree on but he’s never given me reason to think he supports discrimination against people in any of the covered ways.

  24. Paul Kubosh says:

    T.Y. for the good words. I am still not sure who you are but clearly I know you. Have a good evening.

  25. Bill Daniels says:

    Maybe Kuff should throw a meet and greet for his blog followers?

  26. Pingback: Hall for all the haters again – Off the Kuff

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