Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - Volume 6, Number 13

© Copyright 2015, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

Houston E.R.O.: First Battle Over Spate of New Ordinances

Quietly Advancing for Months Across Texas, Militant GLBT Forced into the Open








H.E.R.O.’s Hidden


Overlooked Assault on Fundamental Freedoms


What Went Wrong

for Militant Left


As we write this, we are hours away from Houston voters (hopefully mostly citizens) actually having a say over a far-reaching law that openly gay Mayor Anise Parker and her militant leftist progressives backers at the Human Rights Commission and elsewhere, tried to sneak into law last year.


This battle has now gone national, and the country is now watching what will happen.  Polls say a plurality of voters favor the ordinance, while recent assessments of early voting trends say the opponents may have the upper hand, despite being overwhelmingly outspent by backers of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (H.E.R.O.). 


And so as we write, we know that many thousands across the country await with anxiety the final result of this epic, yearlong battle over one of the most controversial city ordinances ever passed anywhere.  Yet, as remarkable as this is, what is even more remarkable is how this has not happened before. You see, the ordinance is not all that unique, as its proponents argue.  However, something did go differently in this case.  You, like folks in San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and cities and states around the country, were not supposed to even notice that anything had changed at all.


Ringing the Alarm


But, the terrible and depressing truth is that in city after city, county after county, and even in some states, a well-funded and well-organized traveling roadshow of highly focused people have managed to put into law the most comprehensive restrictions on the First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of belief, and freedom of association, as well as on their property rights, enacted upon free citizens of this country in the last 100 years. 


Never have we taken a public position on any candidate or position on these pages as strongly as we must do so today.  For as we have come to know this law and its implications, we have moved from initial skepticism to serious concern, and now to open alarm.


See next column >



Ultrapolis World Forecast & Review

Ultrapolis Project – ultrapolisproject.com



Editor: Marco Roberts

Copy Editor: Michael Alberts

Contributing Editors:

Mark Eastman

Mark Steele





Our forecast record cannot be beat.  One can follow the herd chasing the latest hyperbolic, melodramatic, and soon-forgotten micro-trend, or one can be wisely and judiciously in front of it with UWFR. 



Valley Forge Initiative’s cover on their Facebook post on their H.E.R.O. “concerns”.


< From column 1


The Forest for the Bathrooms


Our reaction is not unlike that of someone thinking at first that someone is trying to peddle some snake oil, then realizing that the attempt is to actually poison, and finally discovering that many others have already fallen prey, and are walking around without knowing what they have already ingested. The more we have looked into this law, the worse our opinion of it, and the discoveries continue to this hour.  We cannot stay silent any longer.


The heavy dust up on the bathroom (and locker room) aspect of the ordinance has in some ways helped the advocates of H.E.R.O., by clouding the other objectionable elements of H.E.R.O. that are truly corrosive to the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and also proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. 


Silent Mortar Fire


At its most fundamental, all our freedoms flow from the idea that each one of us must be free to believe as one chooses, to speak as one believes, and to own the work of one’s own hands and mind.  That no one may compel another into work or speech that is not their own, and no one may be silenced or punished with the force of law for the expression of ideas – no matter how much others may find those ideas objectionable.  Imagine the gay rights movements fifty years ago without that freedom.  Yet, H.E.R.O., and very alarmingly also all the other ordinances successfully passed in the other major Texas cities already named, is a bone-rattling hit on that concept of freedom that few have noticed.  This strike comes in the changes in definitions of what constitutes unfair discrimination, and in how we define public accommodations, and these changes have been discussed almost nowhere except on these pages and occasionally on the pages of Reason magazine.


So it has been that under the banner of “equal” rights and the fight against “discrimination” leftist activists have swayed people whose brains shut off into blind compliance at the very mention of those words, or who cower at the idea of being labeled a “bigot” and a “hater”. Others not so easily swayed have accepted H.E.R.O.’s stiff price for reasons that at this point we prefer to let them publicly explain.


Try this experiment.  Go to any of the far left sites or articles that attack H.E.R.O. opponents and then substitute “bigot” and “hater” with “sinner” and “pervert”, and see then how their screeds reek of sanctimony of the ugliest and most intolerant kind.  They are not the antithesis of religious bigots – they are their mirror image.


Continued column 3 >

< From column 2


The Music Man


Now ask yourself a question no journalist at the Houston Chronicle or the Houston Press, or anywhere else for that matter, has cared to ask:  How is it that all major cities across Texas had very similar ordinances speedily passed at the same time, within the span of a year? You know those ordinances that the activists have been pointing to as evidence of how well those ordinances work?  They were passed around the same time as Houston’s.  They are brand new.  Talk about the art of mis-direction.  The Music Man and his traveling road show of Civil Rights have been busy. But something went wrong in one city: Houston.  Christian pastors got wind of it, and brought the new law out into the open.


Unfortunately, in their outrage over the very real assault on heterosexual morality and modesty, often expressed in the worst possible way, they have overlooked the more serious dangers to freedom posed by these new laws.  Even now, as we move about Houston’s political circles, we are shocked to find almost no one we encounter, for or against H.E.R.O., knows what is actually in H.E.R.O., let alone understands its full implications.


Win or Lose


But, we know.  And we are sounding the alarm.


For an account of many of the serious flaws with H.E.R.O., and the arguments presented against it, visit the Valley Forge Initiative’s list of  H.E.R.O. Concerns.  Regardless of how one feels about other ideas of the VFI, the listed concerns are legitimate.


Whether H.E.R.O. passes or not, a long and difficult battle lies ahead for any and all who care about the liberty of all more than the totalitarian, close-minded safety of their own kind – however well-intentioned.


If H.E.R.O. fails, and we desperately hope it does, a very brief window of opportunity will open to quickly safeguard the most fundamental freedoms of the citizens of all of Houston’s citizens, gay or straight, Christian and not.  But, even then, a long and costly battle still must be taken up to undo the damage already done, not just across the state, but across the country.


If H.E.R.O. passes, the battle will be all the more difficult and trying, but no less worth the fight.  And, no less worth the price we are prepared to pay.



Comments may be directed to contactproject@ultrapolisproject.com, or if you receive the newsletter email, also via a reply to the email address from which you receive it. OR CLICK BELOW







Main Index of the Ultrapolis World Forecast & Review



© Copyright 2015, The Ultrapolis Project – All Rights Reserved.