Houston's pro-LBGT ordinance finally before a jury

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

The residents of Houston, Texas, are watching as a jury decides whether they can vote on that city's controversial "equal rights" ordinance.

gavel brown 620x300The ordinance provides special rights for homosexuals including allowing transgendered individuals to use the bathroom of their choice. Approximately 54,000 Houston residents signed a petition to overturn the ordinance at the ballot, but the city attorney – who has since resigned – invalidated enough signatures to prevent the election.

Houston attorney Andy Taylor subsequently filed a lawsuit on behalf of two local pastors who have challenged the mayor's and the city's handling of the issue. He spoke with Houston's KPRC television, noting that only a little more than 17,000 signatures were needed to force the election.

"The city secretary, whose job it is to do this work, has only looked at 19,000 of our 54,000 signatures – and the best she could come up with was 'Well, but a bunch of those are crossed out,'" he summarizes. "Okay, fine. So we're talking 31,000 signatures that aren't crossed out. She only looked at 19,000 of them so she hadn't looked at all the signatures."

Yet, after then-city attorney Dave Feldman reviewed the petitions, there were only 5,000 he considered valid, largely because they were not on the correct form. Taylor says those were the forms the city provided.

Mayor Annise Parker, an open lesbian who has described the ordinance as a "personal" issue, testified Feldman's explanation was legitimate reasoning for disqualifying signatures.

The city had sought to have the matter settled in a bench trial, but last month that request was denied, effectively sending the case to a jury trial.

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