The San Antonio court overseeing legal challenges to Texas’ new congressional maps has issued the latest in a long line of new interim maps. The current iteration puts much of Houston’s historic “gayborhood” in the district of decidedly anti-LGBT congressman Ted Poe.
Poe’s record on LGBT issues is abysmal, although no worse than the current Rep. for Montrose, John Culberson. Poe has a “0” score on HRC’s congressional rankings (as does Culberson). He opposes hate crimes legislation, anti-discrimination efforts, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and has consistently fought against marriage equality.
Under the new maps Poe’s congressional district spirals across Harris County, starting near Lake Houston, continuing through Humble, then across Spring, takes a sharp south turn at Louetta, jogs to the west to include Bear Creek Pioneers Park then slides to the south to engulf Spring Branch, the Heights and Montrose before turning south and picking up Braeswood. It’s hard to imagine a world where Humble and Montrose have anything in common, but barring further action by the courts we’ll be sharing a congressman soon.
The interim maps aren’t final yet. Already the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, the NAACP, LULAC and others have filed an advisory with the Washington D.C. court tasked with determining if the maps comply with the voting rights act. The coalition claims that the new maps do not address significant issues with the disenfranchisement of African-American and Latino voters.