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False, Missing Information Invalidates Plano Equal Rights Petition

Stephanie Kuo
Supporters of a petition drive to overturn Plano's equal rights ordinance held a press conference on Jan. 7, 2015.

An Equal Rights petition circulating in Plano has been ruled invalid by the City and will not move forward, according to a press release

The petition contained false information regarding the Equal Rights Ordinance, claiming it regulates bathrooms.  The ordinance does not regulate bathrooms.  Essentially, the Equal Rights petition asked signees to repeal an ordinance that does not exist.

The petition called for the City to either repeal that ordinance or submit it to the citizens for a vote.

Plano’s City Secretary was unable to certify the petition because it failed to meet state and local requirements for validation: the signee's county of voter registration, required by the Texas Election Code and a copy of the ordinance, required by the Plano City Charter. 

The Plano City Council approved the Equal Rights Ordinance on Dec. 8, 2014 to alleviate discrimination against the following classes: U.S. Military/Veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

On Dec. 30, three weeks before the deadline for the Equal Rights petition to be submitted, the City of Plano sent an email to the groups organizing the petition drive to clarify information.  It outlined problematic issues with the petition and included links to the City of Plano Charter, Texas Election Code and petition information on the Secretary of State website. 

“The City made a good faith attempt to avoid dispute and facilitate accuracy,” according to the City's statement. “Nonetheless, not a single page of submitted petitions was valid.”