Almost a year to the day after FRC’s “I Stand Sunday” event, Houston stood all right! With one voice, voters banded together, overpowered the mayor’s agenda, and took their city back. Proposition 1, the ordinance that would have punished free speech and forced a radical definition of sexuality on Houston’s most innocent, went down in flames last night, shocking the nation with a landslide 62-38% victory.
It was a political rout few expected, including some of the effort’s biggest backers. “Stunned” was the subject line of the email from the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that sank more than $1 million into the mayor’s transgender push. In the end, no amount of money or celebrity endorsements could compete with the grassroots’ resolve. Conservatives may have been outspent (3-1!), but they weren’t outnumbered.
With a repeal movement more than a year in the making, churches and local citizen groups made up for the lack of dollars with hard work. After months of rallies, door-to-door campaigning, pastor networking, and coalition work, their determination paid off with a voter turnout twice the size of the last three elections! Despite all of the misinformation thrown Houston’s way, voters ultimately saw through the Left’s “tolerance” to the truth. Ads like Faith Family Freedom Fund’s, which were seen by more than 300,000 Houstonians, certainly helped.
“The supporters of this proposition brought in movie stars and elites from Washington, D.C. and Hollywood to try to force their twisted agenda on the good people of Texas,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R). “It didn’t work and advocates of this ridiculous proposal are on notice tonight that the voters of Houston will not stand for this kind of liberal nonsense.”
For most, the biggest storyline isn’t that the ordinance failed, but how badly it did. Turns out, most Americans don’t agree with Slate that “sex-segregated public restrooms are an outdated relic of Victorian paternalism.” The 24-point spread, just days after polling hinted at a tighter race, sent a powerful message about how out of touch these forces of political correctness are. Let this be a lesson to other cities that Americans will not stand by while a vocal minority tramples their religious freedom. With the eyes of the nation on Houston, voters were clear: they will not allow the government to flush away their money, and more importantly, their values.
For U.S. companies, who wrongly believed Proposition 1 was a political winner, a defeat of this magnitude should cause plenty of CEOs to reconsider their platforms. Big business was a big flop in Houston, where at least seven corporate heavyweights weighed in on the wrong side of religious liberty. Apple, BASF, Dell, Dow Co., General Electric, Hewlett Packard, and United Airlines by supporting the government’s effort to bludgeon men and women of faith.
And the irony of their involvement isn’t lost on most. “Once again, big business wants its freedom to operate according to its values, but wants to deny that freedom to others,” Ryan Anderson pointed out. As part of Proposition 1, local businesses would have been punished for holding natural views on sexuality — when in reality, they should have the same right to embrace those beliefs as corporate America does not to! Instead, companies are turning on their own and demanding conformity on an issue the people will decide with their own dollars. If consumers don’t like what a Houston employer stands for, they can shop elsewhere! That’s the beauty of the free market.
Meanwhile, the extreme Left may be humbled — but it’s far from resigned. Already, LGBT activists are regrouping for the next wave of attacks. As they do, Houston’s victory will be a rallying cry for every citizen who cherishes liberty. The democratic process, religious freedom, and free speech have won the day, but plenty of work lies ahead to safeguard these freedoms across the nation. At least now we know it can be done — together!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.