HOUSTON — Opponents of an LGBT-inclusive human rights ordinance have not collected enough valid signatures to force a referendum on it.
A press release the city of Houston released on Aug. 4 said opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance collected 15,249 valid signatures, which is 2,020 less than the required 17,269 needed to prompt a referendum.
Houston officials noted the petitioners submitted 5,199 pages of signatures. They said in their press release that only 2,449 pages “qualify for consideration.”
“The Charter requirements are in place to ensure a fair and legal process, absent of fraud,” said Houston City Attorney David Feldman. “In this instance, there are too many documents with irregularities and problems to overlook. The petition is simply invalid. There is no other conclusion.”
The Houston City Council in May approved the ordinance that extends protections to LGBT Houstonians by an 11-6 vote margin.
Mayor Annise Parker, who is a lesbian, said in a press release that she expects opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to challenge the city’s decision to disqualify some of the signatures they collected.