Pastors, Civil Rights Leaders Clash Over HERO

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They came from many pulpits, leaders of faith with a shared conviction that granting access to female restrooms to men who identify as women is both unsafe and un-Godly.

Pastor Gregg Matte of First Baptist Church was among many who urged the churched and unchurched alike to reject the HERO ordinance.

"The question of what is a man and what is a woman is not intended to be a trick question. The goal of Proposition One is to normalize gender confusion," said Matte.

Reverend Hernan Costano urged citizens to take a firm stand against those who suggest rejection of Prop One would turn Houston into a pariah among American cities.

"We say no, this is not about money coming into the city of Houston at the expense of moral values and family values, our women being in danger," said Costano of the Houston Area Pastor Council.

Roughly 12 miles away, folks and with equal fervor favoring Prop One offered rebuttal to the men of faith.

"When I talk to the ministers I say it's kind of hard for you to preach discrimination when Jesus taught to love everybody," said James Douglas, President of Houston's NAACP.
"They kind of pick and choose what they want to preach," he added.

It was a HERO endorsement seconded by the Urban League.

"If you want to be on the right side of history, you need to be in support of the elimination of discrimination," said Judson Robinson, Houston UL President.

Brandon Ball, a recent victim of racial profiling at a popular night club, echoed the belief here that protection should not be granted to some while denying others.

"Everybody talks about change, but a lot of people sit on the sideline. HERO represents transformative change," said Ball.