Matt Murphy has been a vocal opponent of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) since the Texas Supreme Court ruled on July 24 against the city’s attempts to protect the ordinance from public scrutiny, however Murphy indicated on July 6 to the Houston GLBT Political Caucus PAC that he supported HERO when he was seeking their endorsement.
To be clear, not a single word or punctuation mark in the ordinance was changed between the day it was passed by Houston City Council on May 28, 2014 and when Murphy submitted his candidate questionnaire on July 6, 2015. Likewise, not a word or punctuation mark was changed between the the date Murphy submitted his candidate questionnaire and a short 18 days later when the Texas Supreme Court issued its writ of mandamus ordering the city of Houston to either repeal the ordinance or put it on the November ballot.
However, in an incendiary July 30 interview with Doc Greene of Raging Elephants Radio, Murphy talked at length about his newfound opposition to HERO and chuckled along while the host shamefully referred to Mayor Annise Parker as "Pervert Parker" for no other reason than the fact that she is a lesbian.
In a post on his website dated July 24 Murphy stated, “Mayor Parker made H.E.R.O. her own little ‘Trojan Horse’ by saying that it was eliminating discrimination and providing equal rights to all Houstonians, but in reality, she was trying to provide special rights for a select group of the GLBT community.”
Murphy further commented, “The current language of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance does not provide those [religious, civil, and property right] protections, so if given the opportunity to vote as a citizen of Houston, I will be voting ‘NO’.”
However, that was not Murphy’s tune prior to the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling.
In the Houston GLBT Political Caucus PAC City Council Candidate Questionnaire in a document signed and dated July 6, Murphy expressed unequivocal support for HERO.
In Question 6 of Section IV. Municipal Issues on Page 5, Murphy completely contradicted his claim above by stating, "This ordinance is not about special treatment for some, it is about equal rights and treatment for all."
Unfortunately, Murphy's contradictions don't end there.
In Question 5 of Section V. GLBT Issues on Page 6 reads, "Do you support the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO)? If not, please explain."
Murphy replies, "Yes, but I would like to see more definitive ways to educate the public on what the ordinance is all about and more clarified roles of the inspector general."
The following question, Question 6, asks, "If HERO is on the ballot in November, how will your campaign support the ordinance? If not, please explain."
Proving how unpredictable the legal appeals process can be, Murphy's response is, "HERO will not be on the ballot. The appeals have not been granted, and there is not time."
Question 7 reads, "If elected, would you vote to require businesses and suppliers who receive medium to large city contracts to comply with the City of Houston's non-discrimination ordinance, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, as part of their contracts with the city?"
Murphy's response is, "Yes. The law is the law."
Question 8 reads, "Have you ever taken a position in opposition to LGBT equality? If so, please explain."
Murphy simply responds, "No."
Question 9 asks, "Have you ever reversed your position or reneged on a commitment you had previously made to the Caucus or any other LGBT organization? If so, please explain."
In what is probably the richest of all of Murphy's replies given his subsequent about-face he states, "No. If I agree to something, I stick with it. My word is the most important part of who I am."
The final page are a series of acknowledgments of the terms and conditions of seeking the Caucus's endorsement which is signed and dated by Matt Murphy.
Update: Matt Murphy's campaign has attempted to construe as a personal attack the revelation of his position on HERO to the Houston GLBT Caucus, but I just want to make clear that it is nothing of the sort. I am in no way attempting to cast aspersions on Matt Murphy's character nor am I engaging in ad hominem attacks. I am merely bringing to light an important inconsistency on policy that I, as a voter, would want to know about a candidate before I went to vote.
You can read Matt Murphy's questionnaire for yourself: