|Mike Huckabee and a lot of other folks have a bunch of egg on their faces tonight.|
Excellent news out of Houston which means that a trans-inclusive equality ordinance wins and the religious right suffers a huge embarrassment.
From The Houston Chronicle:
Opponents of Houston's non-discrimination ordinance failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a repeal referendum, a state district judge ruled Friday, validating city officials' decision to toss out the petition foes submitted last summer.
After separate rulings from both a jury and state District Judge Robert Schaffer, attorneys for both sides entered dueling counts of the valid signatures, adding and subtracting voters as Schaffer responded to motions. By early this week, the counts were closer together than ever before, fewer than 1,000 signatures apart.
Ultimately, Schaffer on Friday ruled the final count of valid signatures was 16,684, leaving opponents short of the threshold required in the city charter of 17,249 signatures, or 10 percent of the ballots cast in the last mayoral election.
Last year, the Houston City Council passed a transgender inclusive equality rights ordinance (HERO). Opponents of the ordinance rallied in August and claimed to have gathered more than enough signatures to force a referendum. However, according to city, the signatures contained many errors and taking this into account, a lot of them were disqualified, thereby meaning that HERO opponents had failed in their attempt. In addition, there were accusations that they were engaging in underhanded tactics to gain signatures.
Faced with this defeat, the HERO opponents sued the city of Houston, claiming that they did in fact get enough signatures.