Debate on Houston's LGBT law far from settled

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Charlie Butts (

The residents of Houston, Texas, are considering their options - including a lawsuit - to reverse a pro-homosexual city ordinance.

Mayor Annise Parker pushed through an ordinance providing special rights for homosexuals and transgendered people, although the opposition was strong and loud. According to Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values, the openly homosexual mayor thwarted citizens' efforts to negate the ordinance.

Saenz, Jonathan (Texas Values)"It was really a denial of the will of the people and a voice of the people," he says, "because for weeks the people of Houston worked to gather 50,000 signatures, which was almost three times the amount necessary to repeal this fast-tracked ordinance - and only 17,000 signatures were needed."

That would have forced the city council to either rescind the ordinance or place it on a future ballot. However, the mayor's office has rejected 40,000 of those signatures based on a technicality: the pages containing those signatures failed to meet a legal form requirement ensuring only Houston residents get to vote on the issue.

"A lot of people are discussing possible legal options, and I think that's relevant," the attorney offers. "The mayor has actually even said they're not going to enforce the ordinance because they anticipate a legal challenge over the petition signatures being invalidated by the city."

To say the least, adds Saenz, Houston residents are upset with what has happened, and he notes that Mayor Parker has already announced she does not intend to run for re-election. She is currently serving her third two-year term.

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