Houston & Annise Parker @AnniseParker (USA)

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Houston City Council violated the law regarding referenda when they rejected a petition to put the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, a law banning discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, to a popular vote. The court ordered the city to either repeal the ordinance or put it to a vote, as follows:

“The legislative power reserved to the people of Houston is not being honored. Accordingly, without hearing oral argument, TEX.R.APP.P.52.8(c), we conditionally grant the writ of mandamus lest the actions of city officials “thwart[] . . . the will of the public.” See Coalson, 610 S.W.2d at 747. The City Council is directed to comply with its duties, as specified in the City Charter, that arise when the City Secretary certifies that a referendum petition has a sufficient number of valid signatures. Any enforcement of the ordinance shall be suspended, and the City Council shall reconsider the ordinance. If the CityCouncil does not repeal the ordinance byAugust 24, 2015, then by that date the City Council must order that the ordinance be put to popular vote during the November 2015 election. The writ will issue only if the City Council does not comply.”

IN RE JARED WOODFILL ET AL., RELATORS

City of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) suspended _ abc13