An effort to repeal Houston's recently
approved gay-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance fell short of the
number of verified signatures needed to put 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.
Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney
David Feldman announced that opponents had not collected the 17,269
signatures from registered city of Houston voters needed to get the
issue on the ballot.
“With respect to the referendum
petition filed to repeal the HERO ordinance, there are simply too
many documents with irregularities and problems to overlook,”
Feldman said. “The petition is simply invalid. There is no other
Opponents delivered their petition on
July 3, claiming to have collected 50,000 signatures.
Pastor Dave Welch, who helped organize
the repeal effort, vowed to sue the city and the mayor.
“We were well aware we were dealing
with an administration that's willing to bend the rules,” Welch is
quoted as saying by the Houston
Chronicle. “Courts typically uphold the rights of the
voters. We feel very confident in how that will go. Frankly, there
was no respect for the rights of the voters in this process.”
Prior to passage in May, Houston was
the largest U.S. city without such a law.