Earlier this year a Houston jury ruled that a petition drive to repeal that city’s LGBT rights ordinance had too many invalid signatures to be placed on the ballot. Today the haters will try again.
Another petition drive over Houston’s equal rights ordinance, or “HERO,” is hitting City Hall Thursday morning. They’re delivering 22,000 signatures on petitions to the city secretary’s office at 10 a.m. This one calls for a referendum to define sexual identity as whatever was assigned at birth. It would put HERO on the same November ballot as the mayor’s race. This new petition is just the latest twist in the ongoing saga of the ordinance, which is a sweeping anti-discrimination measure that triggered a passionate debate about the rights of gay and transgendered citizens. Shortly after it passed, socially conservative clergymen led a petition drive calling for a referendum on repealing it. But the city argued the petitions were fraught with forgeries and other problems that invalidated thousands of signatures.
Openly gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be term-limited out of office this fall. (Tipped by JMG reader McSwagg)