The city of Houston is likely to put an LGBT protection ordinance up for a public vote after a ruling Friday by the Texas Supreme Court.

The court ruled that Houston City Council must repeal the ordinance or place it on the November ballot.

After city officials rejected a petition to put the ordinance up to a public vote – saying it was laden with forgery and errors – opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) filed a lawsuit claiming that the city had illegally thrown out their petition.

A state district judge agreed with the city, saying that opponents had failed to gather sufficient signatures. Opponents appealed to the state's highest court.

“We agree with the Relators that the City Secretary certified their petition and thereby invoked the City Council's ministerial duty to reconsider and repeal the ordinance or submit it to popular vote,” the Texas Supreme Court wrote. “The legislative power reserved to the people of Houston is not being honored.”

Mayor Annise Parker and then-City Attorney David Feldman overrode City Secretary Anna Russell's determination that opponents had collected enough signatures to force a referendum on the ordinance. Feldman's staff said that many of the valid signatures were on invalid petition pages.

Parker said that she was “disappointed” with the ruling but certain Houston voters would uphold HERO.

“No matter the color of your skin, your age, gender, physical limitations, or sexual orientation, every Houstonian deserves the right to be treated equally,” Parker said. “To do otherwise, hurts Houston's well-known image as a city that is tolerant, accepting, inclusive and embracing of its diversity. Our citizens fully support and understand this and I have never been afraid to take it to the voters. We will win!”

As recent as 2001, Houston voters rejected a gay rights measure.