Via the Dallas Morning News:
Opponents of Plano’s Equal Rights Ordinance say they’ve met the deadline and collected the necessary signatures to force the Plano City Council to repeal the ordinance or place it on the ballot. The group has collected about 7,000 signatures, far more than the 3,822 signatures needed by today’s deadline. “We applaud the citizens of Plano who turned out to have their voices heard on this important religious liberty issue,” said Gregg Wooding, a spokesman for the Liberty Institute, a Plano-based non-profit legal organization. Plano City Secretary Lisa Henderson confirmed today that she received the petitions and now must verify all the signatures. On Dec. 8, the Plano City Council approved an ordinance extending anti-discrimination rights to people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Texas Values head Jonathan Saenz has released a statement:
The people of Plano have made their voice loud and clear – it is time to repeal this anti-religious freedom ordinance. The heroic effort of the Plano citizens in organizing and collecting signatures well above the required amount, during the Christmas season, only further shows how out of step the Mayor and Plano City Council are with the people they are supposed to represent. These LGBT special rights ordinances are designed to be used as weapons against people of sincere faith, as we have seen in Houston. The people of Plano, just like in Houston, are ready to put an end to government hostility towards our First Freedom.
The Dallas Observer snarks that the Liberty Institute clearly hates military veterans, who were also included in the expanded Plano ordinance.
We could be wrong, of course, but we assume it’s military veterans they were talking about today as Plano Citizens United announced it had collected enough signatures to force a public vote in May on the Plano City Council’s recently enacted equal rights policy. That ordinance extended anti-discrimination protections in housing, public accommodations and employment to military members and veterans … among other groups whose names escape us at the moment. Well … OK. Makes sense, we suppose. Jesus was the prince of peace, blessed are the peacemakers, turn the other cheek and all that. So, yeah, if a bunch of good Plano Christian pacifists don’t want to guarantee equal access to housing and employment to warriors and wounded veterans, that’s their right. Seems a bit harsh, but if that’s what their God wants, the rest of civil society certainly has no call to argue. Obviously, any public goal, any effort to extend rights and dignity under law to marginalized individuals, can only go so far that it doesn’t offend the cherished prejudices of even one bigoted believer, let alone a whole 7,000.
(Tipped by JMG reader Tim)