HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Dr. Ed Young, pastor of America's largest Baptist church, doesn't like the proposed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance one bit. In fact, he calls a controversial portion of the proposal "Godless".
Like most opposing the measure, the longtime leader of Second Baptist objects to the freedom granted transgender folks to legally choose and use the bathroom of their choice.
Young says the decision to speak out publicly to his tens of thousands of congregants was compelled by what he views as "a serious moral issue."
"Those of us who believe men should use men's facilities and women should use women's facilities, we will be discriminated against," said Young. "It is totally deceptive and deadly and I trust that you will vote no, no, no," added Young in a sermon.
In response, the forces pushing passage cited religious leaders who've heartily endorsed HERO as well as fresh backing from the influential Greater Houston Partnership.
As for the revelation that other cities with equal rights laws have limited opposition by avoiding the battle over bathrooms, Fran Watson of Houston Unites contends HERO is pushing the envelope of access by design.
"Houston, I believe, and the people who created this ordinance believe, that this is the most expansive ordinance because it makes sure that it encompasses all Houstonians," said Watson.
While Texas cities Ft. Worth and Plano have left bathroom access out of their equal rights ordinances, Austin and Dallas have chosen to grant choice in their laws.