Texas Supreme Court attacks Houston LGBT protections
The Supreme Court in the US state of Texas has ruled that Houston must repeal a law protecting LGBT people, or put it on a ballot.
In a shock ruling on Friday, Houston City Council was instructed by the court to repeal its equal rights ordinance, unless it is added to a November ballot.
The largest city in Texas now has until 24 August to decide the fate of the law.
Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was passed by the city council last May.
It proved controversial for some, however, and efforts were made to force a referendum to repeal the law.
Despite being accepted at first, a court later ruled that many of the signatures on the petition had been forged, and ruled that it was invalid.
The Supreme Court ruled that the power of referendum “is the exercise by the people of the power reserved to them,”, and technically reversed the earlier decision.
The law was intended to protect all residents of Houston, not just LGBT people.
It reads that protections should extend to “city employment, city services, city contracting practices, housing, public accommodations, and private employment.”