The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, better known as HERO, suffered a humiliating defeat on Tuesday, as Houston voters on both sides of the political divide solidly declared in a huge landslide 62% to 38% that the widely despised ordinance be repealed.
Up until election day, ivory-tower political pundits were absolutely certain that Mayor Annise Parker’s HER Ordinance would survive voter anger, but on election night, their surprise and the despondency of big-government leftists and militant LGBT activists was schadenfreude-licious.
In spite of everything turning out right in the end, the HERO saga demonstrated just how ugly politics can get in the city of Houston.
It’s ugly that Mayor Parker and fringe LGBT extremists decided that this unnecessary and unwanted, poorly written and overreaching law needed to be passed, and rammed it through city council.
It’s ugly that Mayor Parker ridiculed and denigrated opposition to the ordinance when it took the form of a petition drive and said she was looking forward to throwing out a high number of them in the counting process.
It’s ugly that when 50,000 plus signatures were collected against the ordinance – far beyond the 17,000 required – Mayor Parker and the city attorney illegally influenced the City Secretary. At the same time, city attorney Feldman, who had no place in the petition validation, put a stop to the counting after they decided that the signatures gathered would not be counted.
It’s ugly that Mayor Parker subpoenaed the sermons of pastors in Houston to compel their silence.
It’s ugly that Mayor Parker had to be dragged – not once, but twice – before the Supreme Court before her administration agreed to do the right thing and place the properly worded proposition to voters.
It’s ugly that after Houston voters overwhelmingly rejected her ordinance and demanded its repeal, Mayor Parker characterized opponents as “right-wing ideologues and the religionist right” waging “a campaign of fearmongering and deliberate lies,” completely slandering the majority of Houston voters.
Is it surprising? No.