When the Houston City Council passed its nondiscrimination ordinance including gay and transgender protections, top Democratic statewide candidates such as Sen. Wendy Davis were quick to celebrate.
“All people should be treated equally in every way,” Davis said. Her gubernatorial campaign pointed out that when San Antonio earlier approved its nondiscrimination ordinance, Davis said she’d like to see one in every Texas city.
But the campaign of Davis’ GOP opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, was silent, suggesting a balancing act on the issue as the general election approaches.
Abbott wasn’t shy about opposing San Antonio’s ordinance when it was proposed last year, before he won his primary nod. He said it ran contrary to the Texas Constitution’s ban on religious tests and its one man-one woman definition of marriage, which Abbott has staunchly defended.
He even suggested Texas might sue over the San Antonio ordinance but backed off after seeing the final version, which his spokeswoman said included needed changes.
Other Republicans weren’t as reticent about the Houston ordinance. They didn’t put out press releases, but they responded when I called. The Abbott camp didn’t respond to calls, texts and emails.
Reporter Peggy Fikac quotes spokespeople from the Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton campaigns doing their best Dave Wilson impersonations, while noting that their Democratic opponents Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Sam Houston are in favor of the equal rights ordinance. Greg Abbott, meanwhile, lacks the courage of his convictions and is hoping to make it through the next five months without anyone asking any embarrassing questions about that. But don’t mistake that lack of courage for a change of heart.
Meanwhile, as Abbott cowers in a secure undisclosed location, the Harris County GOP has gone all in for repeal. We’ll see if they have any more success with this effort than San Antonio’s haters had last year.
(PS – Why is Jared Woodfill still acting as Harris County GOP Chair? When does the new guy take over? I’m just curious.)