A law allowing men to use women’s bathrooms has been overwhelmingly rejected by voters in Houston, Texas.
President Obama, Hillary Clinton and major companies such as Apple backed the ordinance, but Houstonians voted against it by 61 per cent to 39 per cent.
Under the broad ‘anti-discrimination’ measure, 15 factors including sex, race and age were covered alongside sexual orientation and transsexualism.
Campaign for Houston, which worked to oppose the measure, said the result was a victory for “common decency and common sense”.
Supporters of the law claimed the ordinance would protect citizens from discrimination, and that it was “only a matter of time” before similar regulations were passed.
Business that serve the public, as well as city services and contracts all fell under the ordinance, with fines of up to $5,000 for violations.
Social commentator Ryan Anderson said that the proposal defined gender identity so loosely that no legal change of sex or name was necessary to identify as female.
Campaign for Houston said it did not want ladies “forced to share restrooms in public facilities with gender-confused men” who could “call themselves ‘women’ on a whim and use women’s restrooms whenever they wish”.
Following the result, the campaign’s President Steven Hotze said: “Houstonians refused to be bullied by the agents of political correctness”.
“They voted overwhelmingly to protect women’s privacy and safety”, he added.
The measure had originally been passed by the City Council, but opponents organised a petition to prompt a referendum.
Houston’s mayor challenged the petition – at one point subpoenaing sermons from some of the city’s pastors.
However the state’s Supreme Court decided that Houston must either bring the measure to a vote, or withdraw it altogether.