In a win for democracy, freedom and sanity, the Texas Supreme Court has soundly rebuked Houston’s lesbian (and liberal) mayor Annise Parker in a recent decision against a city ordinance.
In May of 2014 the city of Houston passed the so-called “Equal Rights Ordinance” that proponents said banned business owners from discriminating against gay or transgender customers. However, opponents of the ordinance argued that it was a dangerous and thoughtless rule that would lead to men using women’s restrooms with the excuse that they “identify” as women. At the time the ordinance was passed, its opponents argued that it should be put to a general vote by Houston’s citizens, an idea that should hardly be revolutionary, but Mayor Parker chose instead to keep it off the ballot and force it through with her own power.
Making matters worse, after forcing the ordinance through against public outcry, Parker then attempted to intimidate local church leaders by subpoenaing the sermons and other communications from Houston’s pastors.
Now the Supreme Court of Texas is telling Parker she’s gone too far, demanding that the mayor put the city ordinance to a vote. The Court told Mayor Parker that she must allow the citizens of Houston to vote on the matter and that she had until August 24th to either repeal the measure or allow the people to vote on repeal. “We agree with the Relators that the City Secretary certified their petition and thereby invoked the City Council’s ministerial duty to reconsider and repeal the ordinance or submit it to popular vote. The legislative power reserved to the people of Houston is not being honored,” the court said in its decision.
Harris County Republican Party chief Jared Woodfill, called the ruling “a huge victory for the people of the city of Houston.” He called on Parker, the first openly gay leader of a major American city, to apologize to the public.
“This is all about the mayor and her personal agenda,” Woodfill said. “The actions she took were unlawful, and now the court has said the people are going to have an opportunity to vote, and that’s all we’ve asked for from day one. I think this mayor owes an apology to the people of the city of Houston.”
An attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom added, “Public officials should not be allowed to run roughshod over the right of the people to decide these types of issues, especially when the citizens of Houston clearly met all the qualifications for having their voice heard. The subpoenas we successfully fought were only one element of this disgraceful abuse of power. The scandal began when the city arbitrarily threw out the valid signatures of thousands of voters. The city did this all because it was bent on pushing through its deeply unpopular ordinance at any cost. The Texas Supreme Court has rightly rectified this wrong.”
Hopefully the people of Houston move forward with putting an end to the lie that Houston needs this ordinance to protect the rights of gays in their city. The truth is that Houstonians already respect everyone’s rights, and this bill is simply another way to contravene and undermine conservative cultural values.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com