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Houston Voters Reject Controversial Rights Ordinance 休斯顿选民对有争议的平权法令说不

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Houston Voters Reject Controversial Rights Ordinance
Houston Voters Reject Controversial Rights Ordinance

Voters in Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the United States, soundly defeated an ordinance that sought to protect a wide range of people from discrimination, including gays, lesbians and transgender residents.

The closely watched referendum on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, known as HERO, was viewed as a battle over gay and transgender rights that pitted social conservatives against the city's openly lesbian mayor.

A festive crowd of HERO supporters gathered at a downtown barbecue restaurant to await election results Tuesday night, while opponents gathered at several smaller events.

Opposition to the ordinance was driven by fears that sexual predators dressed as women would enter women's restrooms, as depicted in one television ad.

A disappointed Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly lesbian mayor in America, denounced the opposition tactics.

'This was a campaign of fear-mongering and deliberate lies,' said Parker.

HERO supporters had three times the money of the opposition, but the focus by the anti-HERO forces on the bathroom issue paid off at the polls.

"Extremist, right-wing religionists, people out there on the fringe - and they are a real minority - captured the narrative on this election,' said Terri Burke, executive director of the Texas affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.

But the Reverend David Welch, a HERO opponent, said fear of predators in public restrooms is valid.

"We have incidents all over America where men who claim to be women, or claim to be transgender, or predators are going into women's restrooms,' said Welch.

Even though HERO was an anti-discrimination measure, many black voters opposed it.

"The black community on [the] whole is not falling for the propaganda that this is a discrimination ordinance,' said the Reverend Willie Davis of the MacGregor Palm Community Baptist Church.

Both those who supported the equal rights ordinance and their opponents agree that the fight over this issue is far from over.

'This ordinance, you have not seen the last of it. We are united. We will prevail,' Parker said.

That sentiment was echoed by Stacey Long Simmons at the National LGBQT Task Force.

"There are disparities in housing, disparities in education settings, disparities in health care settings, and as many different ways as we can get new laws on the books to protect our transgender, nonconforming community, that's absolutely what we need to do,' Simmons said.

Most business organizations backed the ordinance, and Parker said its defeat could cost Houston economically by undermining its reputation as what she called 'a tolerant, welcoming, global city.'

美国第四大城市德克萨斯州休斯顿的选民以明显多数挫败了一部反歧视法令,这部法令名为《休斯顿平权法令》(HERO),试图保护范围广泛的一系列人士不受歧视,包括男女同性恋和跨性别居民。这次市民公投引起密切关注,被视为同性恋和跨性者权益之争,战斗双方为社会保守派人士和公开宣布自己是同性恋的女市长。

星期二夜晚,支持平权法的人欢聚在市中心一家烧烤餐馆,等待投票结果。反对者也在几处地点相聚,规模相对较小。

最后的结果是62%反对,37%支持。

法令遇到阻力,很大程度上是因为人们担心性犯罪者会穿上女装进入女厕。反对者在电视上播放广告,突出了厕所问题。

休斯顿市长安妮斯·帕克是美国第一位公开宣布自己是女同性恋的市长。她感到失望并谴责反对者的战术。

"这是一场散布恐惧和蓄意说谎的运动。"她说。

平权法令的支持者的资金是反对者的三倍,但反对力量聚焦厕所问题,赢得了选票。

美国公民自由联盟(ACLU)德州分部的特丽·伯克说:"极端分子、右翼宗教分子,那些边缘人物,他们实际上是少数,却夺取了这次选举的话语权。"

不过,法令反对者、休斯顿地区牧师理事会执行主任戴维·韦尔奇说,对公厕犯罪分子的担心绝非无中生有。

韦尔奇牧师说:"在全美各地都发生过男子自称是女子或跨性人或者犯罪分子进入女厕所的事件。"

虽然平权法令是反歧视措施,但很多黑人选民持反对立场。

麦格雷戈·帕姆社区浸信教会的维利·戴维斯牧师说:"黑人社区总的来说没有上当,不相信这是反歧视法令的宣传。"

那些支持平权法令的人一时欢笑不起来了。不过,支持者和反对者都说,这场战斗远远没有结束。

帕克市长说:"这部法令大家以后还会看到的。我们是团结的,我们会胜利的。"

全国LGBQT专项行动组的斯泰西·朗·西蒙斯也表达了同样的想法。

她说:"在住房、教育环境和医疗环境下都有不平等,而我们也有各种不同的方式制定新的法律,保护我们的跨性别、不顺从的群体,这是我们绝对需要做的。"

多数工商界组织支持这部法令,帕克市长说,法令受挫可能会给休斯顿带来经济损失,因为这损害了她所说的休斯顿是"一座宽容、好客的全球城市"的声誉。

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