Call to Houston pastors and pro-family citizens – COME TO CITY HALL!
Houston Ministers Against Crime * Baptist Ministers Assoc. * Houston Area Pastor Council
Call to Houston pastors and pro-family citizens – COME TO CITY HALL!
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Quality of Life Committee Hearing
2:00 pm (be prepared to stay to conclusion if possible)
Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby
NOTE: Please arrive early so you can be in City Council chambers no later than 1:00 pm
BASIC OVERVIEW OF HOW MAYOR PARKER’S “EQUAL RIGHTS” ORDINANCE CHANGES CURRENT CITY LAW:
All discrimination protections for the “Protected Characteristics” in the new ordinance CURRENTLY EXIST for city government. All other legitimate anti-discrimination areas in private employment, housing, etc. exist in state and/or federal law. This ordinance only serves to impose sexual orientation, gender identy/expression and genetic information as protected classes AS BEING EQUAL TO RACE, RELIGION AND SEX onto the private sector of Houston, with centralized power of investigation, fines and punishment under one person – the Mayor*. There is NO evidence of ANY systemic discrimination EVEN if we accepted the premise of sexual orientation, etc. (*Mayor appoints the City Attorney, to whom the Director of the Office of Inspector General is directly accountable and SOLELY in charge of investigations)
- Where is the “emergency”? This ordinance is SIMPLY NOT NEEDED. What is the compelling government interest in creating a broad scope of investigative power over the private sector and creating serious legal jeopardy? There is no evidence of any discrimination that rises to the level of imposing the threat of fines and punishment on ALL citizens and MOST businesses in the city.
- Protections against wrongful discrimination based on legitimate protected classes such as race, ethnicity, religion and sex are already specified in state and federal law. Employment and Housing in particular are highly regulated and scrutinized already, so again – why is this necessary?
- It is patently offensive to claim that a sexual lifestyle or gender confusion are equal to skin color, AND to assert that these sexual lifestyles are a class that has suffered any documented discrimination in employment, housing and public facilities that rises to the need of imposing this extensive policy over all.
- As has already happened in other states, business owners will be forced to violate their faith, beliefs and consciences. How soon will it be before a photographer, florist, wedding facility and others are prosecuted for declining to provide service for a same-sex ceremony even if their faith convictions are violated?
- The definition of “Gender Identity” is infinitely vague. “…an individual’s innate identification, appearance, expression or behavioras either male or female, although the same may not correspond to the individual’s body or gender assigned at birth.” How do you protect against “identification, appearance, expression or behavior”discrimination? Who is the arbiter?
- This leaves businesses vulnerable to prosecution and litigation they cannot avoid. All it takes is for a person to claim they were discriminated against because of an “identity” or “expression” or “behavior” that may or may not be even visible and businesses – and eventually churches – are defendants under city investigation. You cannot defend against what you cannot define.
- Could this be called the “Sexual Predator Protection Act”because it will FORCEFULLY OPEN thousands of restrooms, showers and locker rooms in the city to sexual predators who will use it as cover to violate our women and children? There are actual cases in other cities such as Dallas that validate these concerns. A biological male could claim that his “perceived gender identity” is female, walk into a women’s restroom, locker room or shower and under this ordinance would be protected.
- Why should the 99% of the population who are NOT gender confused be forced to accommodate the less than 1% who are?Why is the physical and emotional safety of women and children who accept their birth gender less important than the tiny few who suffer from what has always been considered a psychological disorder? The Holy Scriptures state clearly that, “…male and female He created them,” (Gen. 1:27) and we choose to stand with Him and basic biology that sex is determined at conception, identified at birth.
- Places inappropriate investigative authority under the office City Attorney as compared to its purpose under city ordinance. The Office of Inspector General, under the authority of the City Attorney, currently only has jurisdiction within city government with specific limits. It was created by Mayor Parker to investigate “allegations of employee misconduct” (EO 1-39, 3/2011) FOR CITY GOVERNMENT NOT THE ENTIRE PRIVATE SECTOR.“The city attorney shall represent the city in all actions and proceedings…. He shall represent the city in all other legal matters…he shall render opinions and advice to the mayor or city council…”This ordinance adds criminal investigations to OIG without regard to its ability or qualifications to perform such actions. It gives the City Attorney prosecutorial powers completely unintended for that office.
- Pray, Fast and Repent – This ordinance is the manifestation of a spiritual war against the person and name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, as well as his authority, creation, created order and moral law.
- Call six council members and the Mayor’s office – The district council member for your voting location, the Mayor’s office and all five At-Large Council members. (Pastors call the council member representing your church location also.) SIMPLY CALL 311 AND ASK FOR THE COUNCIL MEMBER’S OFFICE or email them your views.
- Pastors, business leaders, concerned citizens, women and children advocates sign up for City Council Public Testimony** – April 30 and May 6; possibly May 13 and 20. (** – sign up on arrival at April 30 hearing and contact the City Secretary’s Office at 832.393.1100 AT LEAST ONE DAY BEFORE THE MAY 6, 13 AND 20 MEETINGS, OR UNTIL VOTE IS TAKEN.)
- Pulpit Power – Preach, teach and/or provide information about the underlying agenda behind this ordinance…and the DUTY of Christians to hold our governing officials accountable to God’s law and the Constitution.
SAMPLE CALL OR EMAIL REMARKS:
“I would like to register my strong opposition to Mayor Parker’s proposed ordinance because there is no evidence it is needed, it creates vague and open ended protections based on sexual behavior and gender confusion, and finally that it forces businesses across the city to open their restrooms to those who claim to be opposite gender. That exposes women and girls in particular to being violated and exploited by predators. I am asking you/Council member ________ to vote no and would like to know your/his/her position. Thank you for taking my call.