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US: Legal challenge to Houston equal rights law gets January court date

Nick Duffy August 17, 2014

A court challenge to Houston’s equal rights ordinance will be heard in January.

Anti-equality activists last month submitted boxes of around 31,000 signatures to block a planned LGBT equality law – above the threshold of 17,269 required to send it to a public vote.

However, the tactics of campaigners gathering signatures have been strongly criticized, with church groups claiming it would allow ‘men dressed as women’ to attack people in bathrooms.

In addition, the TransAdvocate has accused them of collecting “fraudulent” signatures from people who are not registered to vote in Houston.

The city revealed earlier this month that as so many of the signatures had been declared invalid – with many collected before the law was even published – that the petition had failed to force a vote on the law.

However, opponents of the law launched legal action after the petition was rejected, and have now been given a January court date, meaning that implementation of the law will be delayed even further.

Judge Robert Schaffer this week suspended the case until January 19, meaning the law will definitely not be on a public ballot in November.

As Houston Mayor Annise Parker has pledged not to implement the protections until the legal case is resolved, this means that the law will not go into effect for some time.

More: challenge, Discrimination, equal rights, hero, Houston, Law, Legal, LGBT, Ordinance, Rights, US

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