Houston Newsmakers Oct. 11: Equal rights or bathroom safety?

Proposed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance topic on this week's Houston Newsmakers

By Khambrel Marshall - Meteorologist, 'Newsmakers' Host

HOUSTON - Will the proposed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance open up women's bathrooms to predators? Or is it scare tactic rhetoric? That's the hot topic on this week's Houston Newsmakers.

Anti-ordinance groups say the key fault of the ordinance is that it allows a biological man (transgender) to self-identify as a woman and then go in women's bathrooms.

Jared Woodfill is spokesman for the "Campaign for Houston."

"They are basically opening up women's restrooms to men, sacrificing their safety and well-being on the altar of political correctness," he said. "It's a politically correct movement willing to compromise the safety of our wives, our daughters and our mothers."

Discrimination is the real issue, said Cassandra Thomas, chief compliance officer for the Houston Area Women's Center and a 30-year veteran of dealing with domestic and sexual assault issues.

"You're not protecting women against men," she said of the claim of putting women in danger. "You're protecting women against a population that you deem to be a problem. Not based on what the reality of sexual violence stats."

Also on this week's program is Richard Carlbom, manager of Houston Unites, the organization leading the pro-ordinance campaign. He said dishonesty is fueling the anti-ordinance position.

"The scare tactics that the other side are pushing about predators going into the restrooms has not happened in 200 other cities in 17 states," he said. "They are trying to scare Houston voters into believing something that simply isn't true."

Attorney Andy Taylor has successfully argued on behalf of anti-ordinance supporters every step of the way. He said if voters approve the ordinance at the ballot box, expect more court action.

"I can guarantee it. I'll personally challenge it," he said. "It is absolutely legally dead on arrival. It's so flawed. It's like the 'B' team wrote this thing."

There is never a dull moment on this week's program as both sides discuss this very important ordinance that will appear on this year's city of Houston ballot on this week's Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

Also, there's an update on how you can join Texans owner Bob McNair in his effort to build Hope Lodge Houston, a residential facility to be built for cancer patients who are in Houston to receive treatment.

Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall airs at 10 a.m. Sunday after "Meet the Press" on KPRC Channel 2.

More Information:

• Richard Carlbom, Campaign Manager-Houston Unites, 888-365-4937 or 713-942-8146
• Andy Taylor, Andy Taylor & Associates, 713-222-1817
• Cassandra Thomas, Chief Compliance Officer, Houston Area Women's Center, 713-528-2121
Jared Woodfill, Spokesman, Campaign for Houston
Hope Lodge Houston, 800-227-2345

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