A Texas pastor who has waged a religious war against Mayor Annise Parker and Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance, after an attempted repeal failed, now plans to sue.
Even though opponents of equality submitted over 50,000 signatures to place Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) on the November ballot in an attempt to repeal the controversial law, they failed to obtain the required 17,269 valid signatures. HERO, legally passed by Houston's city council will not be put before voters, but Mayor Annise Parker Monday evening, in announcing the failed repeal attempt, also announced the law's implementation would be delayed.
“I am assuming there would be a legal process," to challenge the results of City Attorney David Feldman's certification of only 15, 249 ballots, Mayor Parker announced at a Monday press conference. "I have been confident since we started down this path that, I expected it to end up on the ballot and that we would win.”
Feldman explained that the city's charter required at least ten percent of the votes cast in the most-recent mayoral election.
"The charter requirements are in place to ensure a fair and credible process absent of fraud," Feldman said, according to local ABC affiliate KTRK. "In this instance ... this petition filed to repeal the HERO ordinance, there are simply too many documents with irregularities and problems to overlook. The petition is simply invalid, there is no other conclusion."
Pastor Dave Welch of the Houston Area Pastors Council is threatening to sue.
“We’ve already assembled the top elections law attorneys in the state to review this and prepare for this because unfortunately we know who we’re dealing with,” Welch told reporters.
Welch has been an opponent of Parker's even before she was elected mayor in 2009.
"All we are asking is for the public to have their say," said Pastor Welch. "Unfortunately, this administration has once again excluded people. Complete lack of integrity. Which we're not surprised either, so we're going to pursue legal remedies and we'll see what form that takes."
"We were well aware we were dealing with an administration that's willing to bend the rules," Welch added. "Courts typically uphold the rights of the voters. We feel very confident in how that will go. Frankly, there was no respect for the rights of the voters in this process."
Here's Welch instructing his followers about a month ago: