Bonnie Petrie

Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to Stay Off Ballot for Now

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HERO Rally

(Credit: Susan Starnes/

(HOUSTON) – The courtroom battle over the Houston equal rights ordinance has been pushed to January 2015.

Voters consequently will not have an opportunity to vote on the ordinance in November after Judge Robert Schaffer scheduled their next meeting for Jan. 19.

Schaffer also moved the ordinance should not be enforced until after that trial, with supporters and opponents in unanimous agreement.

Opponents of the ordinance gathered signatures believing they had enough to get the issue on the ballot.

They came up almost 2,000 names short, according to Houston Mayor Annise Parker and city’s attorney.

Now it will be up to the judge to decide if the city’s rejection of the signatures was legally valid.

Parker suspended the ordinance until the legal wrangling is over.

HERO supporters like former city councilwoman Jolanda Jones told reporters before the hearing the ordinance is needed.

Monday is the state’s deadline for putting additional items on the November ballot.

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