Saturday, November 7, 2015

Rural-Urban reversal on LGBTQ rights?

The City of Houston voted this week to repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance aimed at protecting the LGBTQ community.  Manny Fernandez and Mitch Smith report in the New York Times here, with this lede:
A yearlong battle over gay and transgender rights that turned into a costly, ugly war of words between this city’s lesbian mayor and social conservatives ended Tuesday as voters easily repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance that had attracted attention from the White House, sports figures and Hollywood celebrities.
Houston is, of course, one of the largest cities in the nation, so this isn't what we would expect, perhaps, even in socially conservative Texas.  

Meanwhile, Miles Bryan reports on NPR that some "rural" places are acting more progressively on this issue.  Here's the lede to his story
Pocatello, Idaho, and Laramie, Wyo., might not be the first places you think of leading the charge to protect the LGBT community from discrimination. But in these rural, Republican-led states, local governments are taking the matter into their own hands.
Ok, so this isn't exactly the story of an entirely progressive "rural," but it does suggest a foothold of progressive politics in some small cities that would be popularly thought of as "rural."  Indeed, the headline for the story holds these places out as rural:  "'Patchwork of Protection' in Rural Areas for LGBT Community Has Limits."  And that runs counter to stereotypes, leaving Houston and Pocatello in a bit of a role reversal on rights for sexual minorities.  

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