The battle over Houston’s proposed equal rights ordinance is heating up as both sides release new ad campaigns ahead of November’s election.

It's clergy versus clergy now that some faith leaders have thrown their support behind Mayor Annise Parker's measure giving rights to transgender citizens.

“Our traditions teach us to love our neighbor and nowhere does it say to discriminate against our neighbor,” ministers said during a Thursday press conference in the Montrose.  “If there was any hint that Proposition 1 would create unsafe space or put people in harm's way, we would not support it.”

The group Houston Unites also released a new television ad feature several members of the clergy.

“As Christians we believe in treating others as we want to be treated,” the ad says.

Dave Welch at the Houston Area Pastor Council is among those leading the opposition against HERO.  He's not surprised some members of faith are backing the mayor's measure.

“Its never difficult to find liberal clergy who have rejected the Orthodox tennants of faith, including Christian, that will support any left-wing cause,” says Welch.  “We expect that and we see it all the time.”

Meanwhile, former Houston Astro Lance Berkman appears in a new radio ad opposing the measure.

“Join me to stop the violation of women's privacy and discrimination against women,” says Berkman.  “Vote 'no' on Proposition 1.  No men in women's bathrooms and no boys in girls' showers or locker rooms.”


Early voting begins next month.