The Equality Act, passed in May 2014, prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In July, a religious group opposed to this law claimed to have collected about 31,000 signatures on the 17,269 required to obtain a vote of the electors.
However, very quickly, collecting these signatures has been criticized. TransAdvocate notably stated that some signatures were fraudulent because some of the signatories were not registered to vote in Houston.
After a large number of signatures was invalidated, however, it remained a doubt about the entire petition as City Attorney David Feldman told the Houston Chronicle:
“There’s an issue there with respect to the validity of pages. But right now I don’t know what the final count is.”
The openly lesbian mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, said: “If we say there are enough signatures, I’m assuming we get sued by groups like Mr. Freeman’s who have done their own count and disagree, and if we say that there are not enough signatures, I’m assuming we get sued by those who passed the petitions.”
They finally decided the petition was invalid. 16,500 signatures were considered valid, so less than the required number of signatures for a vote.