Rejecting HERO will hurt Houston economy say business leaders

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For Bayou City pragmatists, it is proving a critical question - Would rejection of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance earn this community a reputation for intolerance, costing the economy business and ultimately thousands of jobs?

Iconic developers Ed Wulfe and Welcome Wilson Sr. believe a "no" to HERO will hobble the ability of employers to attract top talent and dissuade new, progressive companies from moving here.

"If you can go to 23 other places in America and this not be a problem why would you come to Houston, Texas if you are a major company or major organization?," asked Wilson.

"The competition to get a new business to move here is really, really vicious. When we compete for stores and businesses we want every single piece of ammunition we can get to support our cause and our case and you don't need anyone who drags you down," added Wulfe.

But HERO opponents say the lack of a local ordinance in the past never kept Houston from leading the nation in job creation and economic growth.

Dr. Ed Young, leader of the nation's largest Baptist congregation, says those troubled by the prospect of granting transgender folks access to the bathroom of their choosing should stand vote "no" on Prop One, regardless of the consequence.

"We don't want to discriminate against anybody. This is a matter of just having a civilized community. This is about a city having some moral principles. It's a matter of having a city that has a distinction of gender. That is so important to us," said Young.