Monday, August 3, 2015

Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance Threatened, Pastors To Sue The City

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 9:53 AM

click image NO UNEQUAL RIGHTS HOUSTON COALITION
  • No Unequal Rights Houston Coalition
The fight in Houston over who is violating whose rights continues, with a coalition of Christians saying an equal rights ordinance, which includes protections for members of the LGBT community (and all of Houston's residents), violates their freedom of religion.

Sigh.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that Houston City Council must repeal its Equal Rights Ordinance or let the voters decide in November with a ballot referendum.

This story is a little more nuanced than it would seem at first glance. While the coalition of pastors argues protecting the rights of the LGBT community violates their religious right to discriminate against gays and lesbians, the court ruling is really about a petition.

According to the ruling (see below), residents of Houston who oppose the Equal Rights Ordinance gathered enough signatures to trigger a referendum, but Houston officials disagreed on the number of valid signatures and refused to bring the referendum to the ballot in November.

So the opponents sued. In a separate district court jury trial, the court ruled there weren't enough valid signatures and that ruling is winding its way through the appeal process.

Despite all of this, the pastors yet again plan to sue Houston.

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