HOUSTON: Campaign To Repeal LGBT Rights Ordinance Fails Petition Count
Opponents of Houston's new non-discrimination ordinance did not get enough valid signatures to force a November repeal referendum, Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman announced Monday. "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 conclusion." Opponents needed a minimum of 17,269 valid signatures - 10 percent of the ballots cast in the last mayoral election - to put a referendum on the November ballot. Feldman said some of the petition gatherers did not satisfy the requirements of the city charter, such as by not being registered Houston voters or by not signing the petition themselves. If such requirements were not met, he said, all the signatures the circulator gathered were invalid. Less than half of the more than 5,000 pages opponents submitted were valid, Feldman said, leaving the final valid tally at 15,249 signatures.Congrats to Out & Equal Houston and JMG reader Mike Craig! And so much for Pastor Dave Welch's call for the "spirits of darkness" to confuse Mike and his team. But Welsh isn't giving up: "We were well aware we were dealing with an administration that's willing to bend the rules. 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."