- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The campaign over a Houston ballot measure on transgender rights has been hit by an apparent rape threat against a former Miss Texas USA contestant who has campaigned against the proposal.

Angela Zatopek posted a video Sunday showing a screenshot from Facebook in which a man who supports the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance says in a message that he cannot wait for it to pass “so I can dress up like a woman and follow you around and rape you in bathrooms.”

A Houston native, Ms. Zatopek became a public face of the campaign after appearing in an ad last month urging a “no” vote on Proposition 1, which would let people use public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity rather than their biological sex.

In an interview with the Washington Times, Ms. Zatopek said she was alarmed after discovering the Facebook post a few days ago while visiting her grandfather in Florida, and called the local police.

She said she plans to contact Houston law enforcement after she returns, but that the Harris County district attorney’s office is already aware of the threat.

“I wanted to have proof of the day the threat was made,” said Ms. Zatopek, who appeared in 2013 on the NBC reality show “Ready for Love” and now works as a Christian Broadcasting Network reporter.

The Facebook account has since been removed and The Times was unable to contact the purported owner for comment or for confirmation of his name.

Houston voters cast ballots Tuesday on Proposition 1, which has drawn national attention over its provision imposing fines of up to $5,000 on business owners who try to bar transgender people from using the public accommodations, including restrooms and showers, of their choice.

In her latest video, Ms. Zatopek says that “supporters of Proposition 1 have said that something like this would never happen,” referring to attacks on women in public restrooms by men claiming to be transgender.

The video then shows a clip of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly lesbian mayor of a major U.S. city and a strong supporter of Proposition 1, saying at a press conference such arguments are “lies, they are misinformation … this just doesn’t happen.”

Ms. Zatopek then says in her video, “I urge you to read that post again and decide for yourself.”

The pro-Proposition 1 campaign, Houston Unites, did not comment publicly on the threat, but proponents have previously decried the opposition’s “scare tactics,” arguing that Houston has laws against harassment, public indecency and assault that will continue to apply to public restrooms and elsewhere.

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