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Texas Court Sidelines Houston's Nondiscrimination Ordinance


The Texas Supreme Court has ordered the city of Houston to either repeal a newly adopted equal rights ordinance or let voters decide if they want to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The all-Republican court ruled Friday that "legislative powers" were not being preserved for residents in the nation's fourth-largest city. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who is gay, backed the proposal when it was passed by the City Council last year. 

Conservative activists have challenged the ordinance ever since. They organized a petition last year to force a voter referendum, but the City Council determined that too many signatures were invalid despite the city secretary saying there was enough. 

The court didn't rule on the ordinance's merits but instead said the certified petition should have held up. 

More on HERO from member station KUHF in Houston. 

This report was provided by the Associated Press.