Pastors Opposed To Houston Equal Rights Ordinance Announce Appeal Of Judge’s Ruling

An attorney who represents the City of Houston predicts the city will again prevail in the ongoing legal fight over gay rights.


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A group of pastors opposed to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) announced Thursday an appeal has been filed challenging a judge’s ruling that stopped their effort to overturn the law.

Attorney Andy Taylor said the appeal focuses on three issues:

  • The invalidity of signatures on the petition due to illegible handwriting.
  • The invalidity of signatures due to mistakes made by the person collecting the signatures.
  • The city allegedly not counting signatures of voters who were registered at the time the petition was circulated, but are no longer registered to vote in the city of Houston.

Andy Taylor, attorney for opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, answers questions about the appeal he filed Thursday.

Opponents of the equal rights ordinance filed the appeal about two weeks after Judge Robert Schaffer made a final judgment in the protracted court battle. In the end, opponents of the ordinance were 585 signatures short of having their repeal referendum petition validated.

Flanked by a group of pastors Thursday, Taylor said the fight is far from over.

“We’re here collectively banded once again to tell the mayor this: It doesn’t matter if it’s the United States Supreme Court,” the attorney said. “We’re going all the way, mayor. You’re going to run out of excuses.”

Geoffrey Harrison, the attorney who represents the city, said Houston will prevail again. 

 “Every one of plaintiffs’ factually and legally deficient challenges to the jury’s verdict and the judge’s ruling is the product of plaintiffs’ own failure fundamentally to comply with the clear language of the City Charter,” Harrison said.

Taylor said he is asking the appeals court to issue a judgment by the end of May, so that there’s enough time to get the desired referendum on the ballot this November.

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