Conservatives cheered Tuesday after Houston voters overwhelmingly rejected a transgender-rights ordinance, while supporters of the so-called “bathroom bill” vowed to keep fighting.
Proposition 1, or the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, was losing by a margin of 61 to 39 percent with 65 percent of precincts reporting, a stunning defeat for Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the national gay-rights movement, which had poured millions into the race.
But despite that heavy spending advantage, Houston Unites, which supported the ordinance, struggled to combat the Campaign for Houston’s television and radio ads warning that the ordinance would allow men, including sex predators, into women’s public restrooms, showers and locker rooms.
In an email to supporters, Houston Unites campaign manager Richard Carlbom called the defeat a “temporary setback.”
“Mark my words: It’s only a matter of time before all Houstonians have equal rights,” Mr. Carlbom said. “Today’s vote was driven by a fringe group filled with fear of and animus towards LGBT people. We will continue to push forward and educate voters to undo the damage of the ugliest of smear campaigns.”