Sean Hannity falsely claimed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was about allowing women to share bathrooms with men who “just claim[ed] to be a woman.” The ordinance prohibited discrimination in areas like housing, employment, and city contracts on the basis of 15 characteristics, including race, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The Houston City Council adopted HERO in May 2014, but after fierce opposition from anti-LGBT groups, the ordinance was placed on the ballot for possible repeal. After months of expensive, high profile campaigning, Houstonians voted to repeal the embattled equal rights ordinance on November 3. Opponents of the ordinance painted it as a “bathroom bill” by pushing the bogus talking point that the ordinance would allow sexual predators to sneak into women's restrooms by pretending to be transgender - a widely-debunked myth. From the November 4 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
SEAN HANNITY: There was a year-long battle over gay and transgender rights that turned into a war of words between a city's mayor and social conservatives. And this was -- where was this out of -- I think Miami. And anyway it had to do with whether or not girls in school should be forced -- I'm trying to get this right -- to share bathrooms and showers with biological males who identify themselves as female, even though their body parts are male. Did I say that the right way? I got it, OK. So voters repealed this, quote, “anti-discrimination ordinance” that had attracted attention from of course the White House, sports figures, Hollywood celebrities. City council passed a measure in May. It was in limbo ever since, and they put it on a referendum and it failed by a vote of 61 to 39 percent, and opponents said the measure would allow men, if they just claim to be a woman, to go to the women's bathrooms and even the women's showers, and apparently this would impact even kids in schools. I think it was Massachusetts. Where did I -- I think it was. I don't remember. Maybe it was -- Houston. Was that the Houston ordinance? That's the Houston ordinance. All right. Sorry about that.