Houston Gay Rights Repeal Won’t Make Ballot, Mayor Says

An effort to repeal Houston’s equal-rights law was ruled invalid by city officials and won’t be on the ballot in November, Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement.

Opponents of the ordinance passed in May, which ensures equal protection in employment and housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, presented 50,000 signatures to put a repeal before voters.

Only 15,249 complied with the city’s charter and Texas election law, short of the 17,269 required to put the measure on the ballot, Parker said in a statement.

“There are too many documents with irregularities and problems to overlook,” City Attorney David Feldman said in the statement issued by Parker, a 58-year-old Democrat. “The petition is simply invalid.”

Opponents said they plan to challenge the decision in court.

“I’m of the opinion that the mayor and the city attorney are trying to pull some hankey-pank,” said Dave Wilson, a business owner who said he was a leader of the repeal movement.

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