Saturday, July 25, 2015

SATURDAY POLITICS: Texas Sup Ct Tells Houston "Repeal Equal Rights Measure Or Place On Ballot"

The Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling yesterday handing opponents of Houston's Equal Rights ordinance (HERO) a victory when it said that the City Council must decide by August 24th to either repeal the measure or place it before voters for a vote on the November 2015 municipal ballot. The Houston City Council enacted HERO last summer with openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker's strong support. This is a shocking ruling because earlier the religious extremists who opposed HERO had turned in double the number of signatures needed to pace the measure on the ballot but more than half of those petitions were deemed invalid by the City Attorney. However the City Secretary had certified that there were enough signatures and it is this certification that the Texas Supreme Court has said must be obeyed. The court suspended the non-discrimination ordinance, and gave the city counvil 30 days to decide to repeal the ordinance or place it before voters.

In response to the Republican-dominated state high court ruling, Mayor Parker issued a statement which said:
"Obviously, I am disappointed and believe the court is in error with this eleventh hour ruling in a case that had already been decided by a judge and jury of citizens. Nonetheless, we will proceed with the steps necessary for City Council to consider the issue. At the same time, we are consulting with our outside counsel on any possible available legal actions. Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is similar to measures passed by every other major city in the country and by most local corporations. No matter the color of your skin, your age, gender, physical limitations, or sexual orientation, every Houstonian deserves the right to be treated equally. 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!"
Of course t's always a bad idea to be forced to vote on the civil rights of other people but if that's what the haters want, we will be ready!

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