On Thursday Mayoral Candidate Ben Hall held a press conference to proclaim his support for a petition aimed at revoking protections for Houston's LGBT Community, known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).
At the press conference Hall said he applauded "the efforts of the gay and straight communities to advance their respective agenda," however he went on to say he refused "to accept the proposition that people should be denied the right to vote on [the issue of gender identity,]" a protected class under HERO.
In attendance were LGBT community members that pushed Hall on the matter. Among them was Nikki Araguz, a local Transgender activist. As Hall began to take questions Araguz asked the candidate whether he believed she should be required to use the men's restroom even though she has fully transitioned and presents herself as a woman.
As the two shot back and forth Hall revealed he would be "open to discussions on unisex bathroom policies." A controversial statement that could cause backlash from right-wing supporters. As the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was debated before city council business owners in opposition to the ordinance stated they were opposed to the law under the false impression that their businesses would be required to install new unisex bathrooms. Under the current law, no business is required to do so.