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Houston Uproar Over Gay Rights Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Marty Rouse, National Field Director for the Human Rights Campaign, an NGO that works for LGBT equality, discusses the backlash against a municipal proposition to enact nondiscrimination ordinance that critics say would allow men to use women's restrooms.

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"The opposition are solely focused on scare tactics of basically saying that a man will dress up like a woman and go into a restroom and attack a young girl."

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Justin Sullivan Scott Olson David McNew Burak Kara
TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

While I do believe that if you actually ask people who are opposing this equal rights ordinance what exactly are they opposed to, they end up talking about transgender issues and having transgender people using public accommodations, mainly restrooms. That's been the focal point here in Houston about the TV ads, the radio ads, focused very much on who gets to use which restroom.  And so it's unfortunate that you have an equal rights ordinance that protects so many people for so many different reasons and the opposition are solely focused on scare tactics of basically saying that a man will dress up like a woman and go into a restroom and attack a young girl. That is actually the TV ad that our opponents are running in opposition to this broad-based equal rights ordinance that protect 15 classes of Houstonians. So we're really faced with this battle right now and it's quite painful to watch. Any LGBT person in particular watching these TV ads, it's extremely painful, it's extremely infuriating and to know that voters are going to vote on whether or not you have the right to a job. Whether or not you have the right to use a public restroom. It's really terrible to see everything boil down to a 30 second ad that a lot of people are talking about.