Justice

The LGBT Community Has a Request for Beyoncé

August 7th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Many Twitter users have come forward asking Beyoncé to use her strong social media presence and fame to once again support the LGBT community. The hashtag #BeyBeAHero is calling on the Houston native to help stop the repeal of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), an anti-LGBT discrimination ordinance that passed last year.

This week, HERO's future became uncertain when the Texas Supreme Court ruled that residents will control the fate of the legislation through a November referendum. This has many HERO supporters concerned that the ordinance, which bars housing, public venue, and employment discrimination against members of the LGBT community, will be lost. That's why they're calling on Beyoncé, who has more than 42 million Instagram followers, to do them a favor and share a post in support of HERO.

"Houston is in for a nasty, dishonest and divisive campaign to repeal HERO and legalize discrimination against LGBT Houstonians," Carlos Maza, the LGBT program director at Media Matters, wrote in a Huffington Post piece. "These kinds of campaigns don't usually end well for LGBT people: they're dehumanizing, traumatic and usually result in LGBT people losing their basic civil rights. But that could change if the world's proudest and most famous Houstonian decides to stand up for her LGBT fans and speak out in favor of keeping HERO. With a single post to her over forty million Instagram followers, Beyoncé could change the debate over Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance and mobilize support for protecting LGBT Houstonians from discrimination."

HERO advocates trust Beyoncé because she's stood up for gay rights in the past. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality earlier this summer, Beyoncé celebrated by posting a dancing video of herself on Instagram, racking up more than one million likes:

 

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

 

In 2013, when the Supreme Court was hearings arguments about the legality of California's Prop 8, a statewide ban on same-sex marriage, Beyoncé responded by altering some of the lyrics of her song "Single Ladies" to "If you like it, then you should be able to put a ring on it #wewilluniteformarriageequality" in a Facebook note. (The Supreme Court went on to strike down Prop 8, making same-sex marriage legal in California.)

"Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, but it suffers from incredibly low voter turnout, especially during non-presidential election cycles," Maza wrote in his piece. "A few thousand votes will likely decide whether HERO lives or dies. Given the amount of attention that Beyoncé's support for the LGBT community has gotten in the past, it's not hard to imagine the kind of positive impact her support for HERO might have on a local election."

Here are some people sharing #BeyBeAHero on social media: