In the ad, a young woman talks about the perceived threat to public safety the ordinance presents. Critics have long asserted that the broad non-discrimination law, which includes protections for gay and transgender residents, would allow male sexual predators dressed in drag to enter women’s restrooms.
A heated legal battle between opponents seeking to place the law on the ballot and the city ended with a Texas Supreme Court decision in late July ordering City Council to either repeal the law or vote to affirm it and place on the November ballot. After a 12-5 vote, City Council opted for the latter.
The two-week, $100,000 buy will air on several radio stations, including Mix 96.5, Sunny 99.1, KNTH AM 1070 and the conservative KSEV Radio.
In the ad, an unidentified woman says that she would like to give birth to a child in Houston but is concerned about the equal rights law.
“There are already federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination against pregnant women, but this ordinance will allow men to freely go into women’s bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. That is filthy, that is disgusting and that is unsafe,” the ad states.
The Houston Unites campaign, supporters of the ordinance, responded to the ad in a written statement Monday dismissing the message. The campaign has yet to make any media buys, but manager Richard Carlbom has said the group will hit the airwaves and TV in the coming months.
“The ad is vulgar and grossly misleading. Nothing in the equal rights ordinance changes the fact that it is – and always will be – illegal to enter a restroom to harm or harass other people. And the ad leaves out the fact that the law protects tens of thousands of Houstonians from job discrimination based on their race, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability,” the statement said.
It’s all of those things and more, but that doesn’t mean the ad won’t be effective. This is exactly what I expected from the HERO haters, and it’s why I was hoping the pro-HERO forces would have something out first. It’s hard to dislodge that kind of fear once it takes hold; facts just don’t get you very far. If any of these radio stations are ones you listen to, by all means feel free to contact them and tell them that you don’t approve of this dishonest and hurtful ad. If the ad really makes you mad, get in touch with Houston Unites and find something you can do to help protect HERO in November. PDiddie has more.