Houston equal rights measure in hands of voters

A man urges people to vote against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance outside an early voting center in Houston on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. The contested ordinance is a broad measure that would consolidate existing bans on discrimination tied to race, sex, religion and other categories in employment, housing and public accommodations, and extend such protections to LGBT people. Pat Sullivan, AP

An ordinance that would establish nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people in Houston will now be in the hands of voters after a long battle involving legal fights and accusations of religious intolerance and demonization of the LGBT community.

Houston residents were to vote Tuesday on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Supporters say it would not only offer increased protections for gay and transgender people, but would provide a wealth of protections against discrimination in various categories.

Opponents have focused their campaign on one part of the ordinance related to use of public bathrooms by transgender men and women that they allege would open the door for sexual predators to go into women’s restrooms.

Tuesday’s outcome is considered uncertain, with one political expert believing the measure could be defeated.

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