HERO gets endorsements from Obama, Biden and Clinton ahead of Election Day

Houston will vote on its Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) on Tuesday, and as the race nears its finish the law is picking up a set of high-profile endorsements.

Earlier today, Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for the measure, directly referencing Houston’s upcoming vote:

And later this afternoon, White House spokesman Jeff Tiller indicated that the measure had the support of both President Obama and Vice President Biden:

While the administration generally does not take a formal position on specific proposals or initiatives, the president and vice president have been strong supporters of state and local efforts to protect Americans from being discriminated against based on who they are and who they love. We’re confident that the citizens of Houston will vote in favor of fairness and equality.

Support HERO, via GLAAD

Support HERO, via GLAAD

HERO has also received endorsements from Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (and former mayor of San Antonio) Julian Castro and actress Sally Field, who called the scaremongering ad campaign being run against the measure a set of “evil lies.”

That campaign has been defined by a series of videos that portray HERO as a subversive plot by politically correct LGBT activists to enact legal protections for child rapists. Really. That being the case, “evil lies” may not be strong enough in defining the campaign against the measure.

Heading into Election Day, supporters of HERO have a significant advantages in both fundraising and public opinion. However, the question remains whether, in an off-year election, those who support the measure will turn out at rates high enough to overcome what is sure to be a mobilized social conservative base.

The question also remains whether Beyonce, who activists are still hoping will lend her support to the measure, will say anything before Tuesday’s vote. As a pro-LGBT megastar and Houston native, her support would likely mean as much to securing HERO’s passage as Obama’s, Biden’s and Clinton’s combined.

(h/t Washington Blade)

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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14 Responses to “HERO gets endorsements from Obama, Biden and Clinton ahead of Election Day”

  1. Laverne Bartholomew says:


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  2. BeccaM says:

    Closing remark: I don’t hate Hillary Clinton. If she’s the Democratic nominee, I will vote for her because I find all of the GOP candidates unimaginably horrific. I personally prefer Senator Sanders and will probably vote for him in my state’s primary if he’s still in the race, not that it’ll make a difference by then.

    But I believe politicians on both sides of the aisle, Democratic and Republican, should be called out on lies when they tell them.

    The correct response from both Clintons should have been, “Yes, we opposed not only same sex marriage, but just about all gay and lesbian family rights in the 1990s. We’re sorry. Those were terrible positions and we apologize for the discrimination we helped cause. Our positions on this issue and indeed on all LGBT rights have changed completely. We know that trust has to be earned, and so we’ll have to work to rebuild and earn that trust from the LGBT community.”

    Here, I think the most important thing is to let Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democrats know that the LGBT community (much of it anyway) remembers the betrayal for what it was and not how the Dems would prefer to revise and spin history. We’re not going to pretend it was a defensive measure or unfortunately necessary compromise.

    If we forget how deliberately we in the LGBT community were thrown under the bus, the Democrats will get it into their heads to do it again whenever it’s deemed politically expedient. Other Democrat-supporting constituencies would do well to remember the betrayals as well, because as ever it’s always the lack of accountability which emboldens the Democratic party to keep on doing it.

  3. BeccaM says:

    I definitely appreciate former Secretary Clinton and former president Clinton — and many other Democratic leaders — now unambiguously supporting LGBT rights, including marriage equality.

    But I do remain dismayed by their revisionist history concerning DOMA, its passage, and the many Democrats who supported it — as it was, and not with Section 3 (federal recognition) repealed or overturned — at least up through 2007. Many of them — including Hillary — kept the position right through 2013 that states should be free to enact bans on same-sex marriage or gay-headed family-related rights if they wanted to.

    It pains me a little to say this, since the site in question is Click-Bait Listicle Gazette Daily, but Buzzfeed sent one of their journalists over to the Clinton presidential library. And they pulled all of the communications from the relevant time period. They found the smoking gun… or perhaps much more accurately in the metaphorical sense, the dog that didn’t bark and a Big Dog who did:

    There is no contemporaneous evidence, however, to support the claim that the Clinton White House considered a possible federal constitutional amendment to be a concern, based on a BuzzFeed News review of the thousands of documents released earlier this year by the Clinton Presidential Library about same-sex couples’ marriage rights and the Defense of Marriage Act. In the documents, which include correspondence from a wide array of White House and Justice Department officials, no one even hints that Bill Clinton’s thinking or actions regarding DOMA were animated by the threat of a federal constitutional amendment.
    For the most part, White House staffers assumed Clinton would eventually support DOMA once the bill’s introduction was certain. Bill Clinton had already stated his opposition same-sex couples’ marriage rights. In 1996, Clinton repeatedly marked his approval of talking points on same-sex marriage(…) the talking points included his opposition to same-sex marriage and opposition to providing federal benefits to same-sex couples.

    President Clinton would announce his full support for the submitted version of the DOMA bill in May, 1996. And basically, all of the communications reviewed by Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner would confirm that Clinton wanted to make it clear to the entire country he supported DOMA because he opposed any recognition of marriage rights or benefits for gay and lesbian couples, period.

    Marsha Scott, the Clinton Administration gay/lesbian community liaison and Richard Socarides (incoming liaison) both noted the LGBT community would not take this news well, and kept trying to craft ways for Clinton to oppose it. However, Justice Dept Assistant AG John Schmidt basically said support for DOMA was best done quick and how it was entirely in keeping with Clinton’s position of opposing marriage rights for gays and lesbians. Another DOJ AG, Andrew Fois, went further and sent a helpful letter to House Rep. Henry Hyde telling him the DOJ’s opinion was that DOMA would be upheld as entirely Constitutional if passed in its current form.

    And in case anybody thought to ask, “Well, what about domestic partnerships or civil unions? Would that be acceptable” — the White House had a talking point for that, too:

    “(S)ince the president does not believe that the federal government should recognize gay marriage, he does not believe it is appropriate for federal resources to be devoted to providing spousal benefits to partners in gay and lesbian relationships.”

    This wasn’t just DOMA. It was DOMA-Plus. If there’s any question as to why DOMA was enforced so aggressively, there it is.

    Anyway, the full story is worth a read. It is crystal clear that the Clinton Administration support for DOMA had nothing to do with a defensive action. I get it: There were certainly people outside of government who feared the possibility of an amendment or mistakenly thought in retrospect it must surely have been the reason for the betrayal of the LGBT community — but it wasn’t. Inside the Beltway, NO ONE even mentioned introducing an amendment if DOMA failed, which was never going to happen because full bipartisan support was already solidly in place. There was never any doubt DOMA would pass and the president would sign. Not reluctantly, but because he agreed with DOMA’s policy goals.

    There was NO discussion about a possible amendment in the White House. Congressional Representatives and Senators didn’t threaten to introduce it either. It would not be until 2002 that the Republican party would get it into their pointy little heads to go ahead and introduce their ‘Federal Marriage Amendment’ — despite the existence of DOMA, which clearly wouldn’t have prevented the FMA’s introduction in the first place, if anybody had truly wanted to do it at the time.

    Moreover, DOMA was judged to be 100% consistent with President Clinton’s own position on same-sex marriage, and his administration helped to get it passed. On purpose. It was never a compromise. It was their intended goal. The helping hand they keep insisting they were trying to extend back them was never anything other than a boot stamp to the faces of every gay and lesbian American and their families.

  4. Bill_Perdue says:

    It is a good show but it won’t convince many people.

    It certainly didn’t for Obama. Rebranding is a very difficult thing to pull off at the best of times. ”… there’s little reason to doubt the thoroughness of her tick-tock explanation of how President Obama came to announce his support for marriage equality. And instead of adding complexity to the conventional wisdom of the moment — that Obama’s previous opposition to same-sex marriage had been entirely phony and politically motivated — Becker’s examination, released as an excerpt in this week’s New York Times Magazine, shows that Obama’s opposition was just as entirely cynical, if not more so, as everyone assumed. http://www.salon.com/2014/04/18/nauseating_political_cynicism_leads_to_inspiring_gay_marriage_triumph/

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    Voting in referendums like this is important, but voting for rebranded bigots like HRH HRC and others only reinforces their tendency to think they can get away with everything.

    And in any case, except for these referendums, voting has no effect on that the politicians of both parties always do, which is to make the rich richer and safer and to pauperize working people in the process. As Gilens and Page write, ‘the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.’ In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.” http://mic.com/articles/87719/princeton-concludes-what-kind-of-government-america-really-has-and-it-s-not-a-democracy

    Mass actions and direct actions are the only real way to fight. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/11/15/dadt.protesters/

  6. Houndentenor says:

    The Texas cities are mostly blue. (Ft Worth seems to be the largest exceptions.) It’s the burbs and most of the rural areas that are red. Not everyone in Texas is a right wing loon just like not everyone in California or New York is a liberal. It’s a majority to be sure, but it’s not 100%.

  7. Indigo says:

    Much as I’d like to accept that Texas is reasonably rational, there’s the on-going decisions about school books by the state school board that drive extremist, questionable decisions that promote second rate text books.That’s bothersome enough to cast doubt on the educational integrity of the entire state. I know, they say that Austin’s the exception. But not effectively so, state-wide, it seems.

  8. Indigo says:

    That’s reassuring.

  9. Houndentenor says:

    No, it’s not. Especially not inside the 610 loop. Houston elected a lesbian mayor 3 times. That would not happen in most of the country (and in fact hasn’t happened in any other city anywhere near its size). The burbs are full of Teavangelical types but the city has a lot to offer in terms of culture and art.

  10. mf_roe says:

    Looking over her shoulder for the next attack keeps her very flexible.

  11. mf_roe says:

    Big Texas cities aren’t as bad as the rural areas, not really liberal just more aware of the real world. Part of the problem goes back to the ‘Dixie-crat days when “Democrats” behaved very conservatively. Money defeated Ann Richards not values.

  12. Knottwhole says:

    That radical left turn Hillary is taking should have broken her neck.

  13. Indigo says:

    That might be a problem. Is Houston is nutty as the rest of Texas?

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