Opponents of Houston's recently
approved gay-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance on Thursday
submitted 50,000 signatures aimed at putting the law on the ballot in
The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance
(HERO) prohibits discrimination in the workplace, housing and public
accommodations on the basis of several factors, including sexual
orientation and gender identity.
Only 17,269 signatures from registered
city of Houston voters are needed to get an issue on the ballot.
Opponents said they have already validated nearly twice that number,
“It has been shown and demonstrated
that the people of the city do not want this ordinance,” said
Pastor Max Miller of the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston
and Vicinity. “We simply say: Allow people to vote on this
Mayor Annise Parker, who championed for
passage of the ordinance, vowed to fight the effort to repeal it.
“This was not a narrowly focused,
special-interest ordinance,” said Parker, who is openly gay. “This
is something that the business and civic community of Houston was
firmly behind and we fully expect if there is a campaign that it will
be a spirited campaign, but we'll have the same outcome in November
as we had around the council table.”
Prior to passage in May, Houston was
the largest U.S. city without such a law.