Jury will hear case against Houston's pro-LGBT ordinance

Thursday, January 15, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

The only thing left to decide now in a citizens' lawsuit against a Houston pro-homosexual "anti-discrimination" ordinance is when the trial will be scheduled.

Last May, after the Houston City Council passed the ordinance to provide special rights to homosexuals and the transgendered, a petition drive to put it on an election ballot succeeded in gaining sufficient signatures. But Mayor Annise Parker – an open lesbian – and then-City Attorney David Feldman negated enough of those signatures to defeat the move. In response, residents filed a lawsuit against the city. (See earlier story)

Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values tells OneNewsNow that Mayor Parker had requested that Judge Robert Schaffer send the matter to a bench trial. But on Tuesday, Schaffer denied the city's request, effectively sending the case to a jury trial – which is what conservative plaintiffs had wanted.

Saenz, Jonathan (Texas Values)"It's probably not a surprise to people that the mayor's office would try to shut the jury out of this and have the people of Houston have a role in the outcome of this issue," says Saenz, "but it's been a part of the mayor's strategy all along to shut the people out."

In fact, at one point during the public debate over the ordinance Mayor Parker said she wasn't about to let Houstonians vote on her civil rights.

The one advantage to the squabble, according to Saenz, is that people are becoming better informed on what's at stake. "And that's the fact that when you try to push these issues that give the government power to favor homosexuality, it ends up being a major threat and a weapon that's used against religious freedom," explains the attorney.

Judge Schaffer has scheduled a conference call with attorneys to settle the final issue: when the case will go to trial. That will be no earlier than January 20. It's expected that the trial will last between four and six weeks.

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