Texas Supreme Court flushes Houston's 'bathroom law'
In a victory for reason and common sense, the Texas Supreme Court has given the city of Houston 30 days to either repeal it's ridiculous rules governing public restroom use by the opposite sex or put it on the ballot for voter approval.
The law was intended to make it possible for trans genders to choose whatever bathroom they felt comfortable in using. Opposition to the bill resulted in city officials subpoening the sermons and other documents from 5 local pastors, looking for violations of the equal rights statute. The subpoenas were withdrawn following a nationwide outcry.
“Obviously, I am disappointed and believe the court is in error with this 11th-hour ruling in a case that had already been decided by a judge and jury of citizens,” said Ms. Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, in a Friday statement.
“Nonetheless, we will proceed with the steps necessary for City Council to consider the issue. At the same time, we are consulting with our outside counsel on any possible available legal actions,” she said.
The city has until Aug. 24 to act on the court’s order, which also suspended the equal-rights ordinance, raising the possibility of a ballot fight that could sway the outcome of the November mayor’s race. Ms. Parker is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.
The ordinance, approved by the city council in May 2014, added gender identity and sexual orientation to the city’s equal-rights law, touching off a backlash over transgender bathroom use.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the court’s decision Friday, saying that, “Freedom of expression can only exist once government removes itself from stifling free speech, repressing religious liberty and interfering with the lives of its citizens.”
“Today’s decision by the Texas Supreme Court appropriately returns jurisdiction over this matter to voters while reassuring the people ofHouston that their personal values remain beyond the reach of government,” said the Republican governor in a statement.
Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which defended the pastors, said Friday that the court “has rightly rectified this wrong.”
“Public officials should not be allowed to run roughshod over the right of the people to decide these types of issues, especially when the citizens ofHouston clearly met all the qualifications for having their voice heard,” Mr. Stanley said in a statement.
The drive to allow transgendered people to use the bathroom of their choice is part of the "equal rights" movement. Apparently, where someone relieves him or herself is to be a national issue. The Houston law ran afoul of the city's charter, which gave the Supreme Court a reason to throw it out. But that's just a technicality. Unless we insist that court's use common sense and reason to rule in these cases, Houston will only be the beginning.