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Activist Dave Wilson Asks Texas Supreme Court To Weigh In On Gender Identity Petition

Wilson is asking the high court to force the city of Houston to quickly count signatures on a petition to define gender identity in the city charter.

A district court already ordered the city to count signatures on the petition, but the city appealed. Dave Wilson’s attorney James Pierce wants the state’s highest court to issue a writ of mandamus, which is an order to officials to perform their duty.

“We’re saying there is no jurisdiction to appeal first and foremost,” Pierce said. “And second, the Supreme Court can on its own issue a writ of mandamus and that would finally resolve the issue.”

Wilson is trying to make the Aug. 31 deadline to get the measure on the November ballot.

The Houston Community College trustee said he has collected more than 22,000 signatures in favor of a charter amendment that would define gender identity in Houston as the sex one is born as.

The city argues Wilson is trying to repeal a key component of Houston’s equal rights ordinance and missed the deadline.

Wilson denies that. He told News 88.7 last month that his motivation stems from a 2012 executive order by Mayor Annise Parker that bans discrimination of city employees. It includes allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that conforms with their self-identity.

“Mine has always been a charter amendment to address men in the women’s bathroom,” Wilson said.

A city spokeswoman said the city will make its arguments in the response to the court, which is due on Wednesday.

Should the Supreme Court grant Wilson’s request, it would be the fourth time in less than three months that the high court has ruled against the city of Houston.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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