Petitions

...now browsing by category

LGBT rights petitions

 

Plano LGBT Ordinance Recall Effort Thrown Out – All Signatures Invalid

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Plano, Texas

Big news – the effort to repeal Plano’s new LGBT rights ordinance has failed in a spectacular fashion.

The Dallas Voice reports:

The team that screwed up the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance recall has proven to be equally incompetent in Plano. The “county of residence” requirement was omitted from the Plano petitions, which invalidated all of the signatures on it. In Houston, fewer than 4,000 signatures on petitions to overturn that city’s newly-enacted equal rights ordinance were valid out of more than 50,000 turned in. In Plano, none of the signatures were valid because that requirement was omitted. Plano spokesman Steve Stoler wrote in a press release this morning (Friday, Feb. 20), that the city of Plano has determined that the recently circulated petition is invalid and will not move forward. Plano’s city secretary was unable to certify the petition because it failed to meet state and local requirements for validation.

It’s great news for the ordinance and LGB rights, but it just hi-lights the fact that leaving out a transgender portion of the bill to protect bathroom access was a glaring mistake. It didn’t mute criticism of the bill, and divided supporters. Let’s hope this is a lesson going forward.

No word yet on whether the anti-gay forces plan to try again.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Houston’s LGBT Protections Ordinance Survives Initial Attack

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Texas mapThe City of Houston determined that the opponents of a new LGBT civil rights ordinance failed to gather enough valid signatures to put a repeal on the ballot.

The Dallas Voice reports:

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance will not appear on the November ballot, Mayor Annise Parker announced at a press conference today. “The petition is simply invalid,” said David Feldman, the city’s attorney. Officials said there were too many irregularities in the petition. Some of the pages weren’t notarized, and too many of the signatures were not registered voters, they said. Feldman said, essentially, that there were so many problems with the petition as it was submitted that the city couldn’t accept it. Mayor Annise Parker predicted that opponents will take legal action. Because of expected legal action, she will then delay implementation of the ordinance.

It’s sad that the implementation has been delayed, but this does shift the fight to the courts, which are a lot harder to sway than public opinion with lies and deception.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Houston LGBT Rights Ordinance Challenge May Fall Short

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Texas mapThe city is close to finishing a validation of the signatures turned in by opponents of the new Houston LGBT rights ordinance.

Joe.My.God reports:

From JMG reader Mike Craig of Out & Equal Houston: When the Houston Area Pastors Council turned in 7 boxes of petitions to the City on July 3rd, they boasted of gathering more than 31,000 valid signatures. An independent group of concerned citizens has spent the last three weeks independently reviewing each page of that repeal petition in an effort to provide additional accountability to the referendum process. This was a grass-roots effort involving more than 100 volunteers who communicated via social media and participated in a crowd-sourced effort that uncovered fatal flaws with what was turned in. Having finished this exhaustive review, the HERO Petition Review Working Group concluded that the petitioners did not, in fact, turn in enough valid signatures in order to place this issue on the ballot… Based on these simple criteria, this independent review showed only 16,499 valid signatures were turned in. Additional scrutiny can only lower that number further. A full report detailing these findings has been provided to the City Secretary, City Attorney and Mayor. While it is our hope that the City’s own determination will come to a similar conclusion, we understand that it is ultimately the legal & statutory responsibility of the City Secretary and we will abide by that office’s findings.

The official report has not yet been released, so we have to wait and see if the repeal does quality for the ballot. If not? Expect a lawsuit.

Cases like this make it really clear. It was never really about the word “marriage”. It’s about preventing the granting of any right at all to LGBT citizens.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Houston Gay Rights Opponents Turn in Signatures to Repeal LGBT Rights Ordinance

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

houston-petitions

It looks like opponents of the new LGBT rights ordinance in Houston have turned in more than enough signatures to force a public vote in November.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Opponents of Houston’s new LGBT-inclusive equal rights ordinance on Thursday delivered what they say are thousands of voters’ signatures requesting that it be repealed. The group, consisting of pastors and faith-based organizations, said they had collected more than 50,000 signatures calling for a ballot referendum aimed at repealing the measure; a total of 17,269 valid signatures are required to place the issue on the November ballot. They say they want the public to have a chance to vote on the anti-discrimination ordinance, and not just city council members.

It’s amazing to me that these folks hate us enough to want to block even employment and housing protections for the LGBT community. Remember how they always used to tell us it was just about the word “marriage”?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Oregon Marriage Equality Ballot Initiative Still in Play?

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Oregon Marriage EqualityConcerned that the US Supreme Court could honor NOM’s request and intervene in the Oregon marriage equality case, Oregon United for Marriage might still go ahead with the ballot initiative for November.

Oregon Live reports:

Oregon United For Marriage, the group formed to put a same-sex marriage initiative on the November ballot, had planned to formally decide Monday whether to drop the measure in light of the May 19 federal court ruling allowing gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon. But that’s been put on hold while the group watches to see how the U.S. Supreme Court handles a request by the National Organization for Marriage for an emergency stay of the ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane… Peter Zuckerman, a spokesman for Oregon United for Marriage, said his group remains confident that the court will reject the request from NOM, which was filed last Tuesday. But, he added, leaders of his group “are not going to make a decision [on the initiative] until they know what the court is going to do.” “We have the signatures” to qualify for the ballot, Zuckerman added, “and we’ll turn them in if that’s what we need to do to win.”

Kennedy has asked for briefs by today. No word yet on when he will decide the issue.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

Maryland Transgender Law Repeal Effort Fails

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Transgender FlagMaryland’s transgender rights bill will stand as anti-LGBT forces fail to collect enough signatures to force a public vote on the law.

The Washington Blade reports:

State Del. Neil Parrott (R-Washington County), who led the effort, said in an e-mail to supporters that his website, MDPetitions.com, collected 17,500 signatures — roughly 1,000 shy of the third of the 55,737 signatures it needed to submit to state election officials by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday. Parrott said MDPetitions.com collected more than 6,000 signatures over the last two days, but it appears as though opponents never submitted them. “So many people did so much and we are very grateful for your enthusiastic support,” said Parrott. “It is difficult to come this close and then fall short, and yet we know that it was only through this effort that people became aware of the effects of this bill.”

They also failed to put a repeal of California’s law on the ballot. Could it be that transphobia is slowly fading in the US?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Maryland.

USA, Oregon: State Supreme Court Upholds AG’s Ballot Title for Anti Gay Initiative

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Oregon Gay MarriageAn anti gay group pushing one of those “right to discriminate” bills lost their battle over the initiative title today.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Without comment, the court upheld a ballot title drafted by the Attorney General’s office that sponsors of the initiative had complained used “politically charged” wording that would bias voters against the measure, reports The Oregonian. Ballot titles are regarded as one of the most important parts of an initiative campaign because they appear on the ballot right above where voters mark either their “yes” or “no” vote. The certified ballot title contains the language: “Religious belief” exceptions to anti-discrimination laws for refusing services, other, for same-sex ceremonies, “arrangements.”

It’s a victory, but a bigger one would be to keep it off the ballot altogether.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

USA, Michigan: Marriage Equality Ballot Initiative Planned as State Submits New Brief

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

MichiganThe campaign to put marriage equality on the ballot in 2016 will kick off today.

The Detroit News reports:

Community activists, religious leaders and other supporters of same-sex marriage in Michigan are expected to kick off a campaign Thursday for a 2016 ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage in the state. The initiative will be called Michigan for Marriage, organizers said. In Metro Detroit, organizers will kick off their effort at noon at the Oakland County Board of Commissioners’ Auditorium, located at 1200 N. Telegraph in Pontiac. Petition drives will also be launched in Lansing and Grand Rapids.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a new brief with the 6th Circuit supporting the ban, but one thing was notably absent.

Joe.My.God reports:

Yesterday Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in defense of that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Notably missing from Shuette’s brief is any mention of debunked social researcher Mark Regnerus, who was brutally slapped down by the judge who ultimately overturned the ban.

In another interesting twist, he also points to the US Supreme Court’s upholding of the state’s affirmative action ban last month:

Mlive reports:

“The district court’s decision, to use (U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony) Kennedy’s recent words, demeans democracy,” the state asserted, referring to the plurality opinion in the case that Schuette argued in defense of the affirmative action ban. “It denies each of those voters the dignity of a meaningful vote, labels each with the stigma of irrationality, and treats Michigan’s electorate as incapable of deciding this profound and sensitive issue.”

Kennedy wrote in his opinion on Schuette vs. Coalition to defend Affirmative Action: “It is demeaning to the democratic process to presume that the voters are not capable of deciding an issue of this sensitivity on decent and rational grounds… Freedom embraces the right, indeed the duty, to engage in a rational, civic discourse in order to determine how best to form a consensus to shape the destiny of the Nation and its people. These First Amendment dynamics would be disserved if this Court were to say that the question here at issue is beyond the capacity of the voters to debate and then to determine.”

I haven’t seen this particular argument before, at least not with this basis… it will be interesting to see if it is taken seriously by the 6th Circuit.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Michigan.

USA, Oregon: First Ad Released to Fight Anti Gay Ballot Measure

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Kathleen SaadatOregon United for Marriage released their first ad to fight a pending “religious freedom” ballot initiative.

The Advocate reports:

Similar in tone and scope to Arizona’s vetoed “license to discriminate” bill and other “religious freedom” protection laws recently enacted in Mississippi and Tennessee, Oregon’s Initiative Petition 52 specifically mentions same-sex marriages and civil unions, whereas laws in other states only alluded to the target audience that would be discriminated against. The bill would essentially create a broad, categorical exemption to the state’s existing nondiscrimination law, which prohibits discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, and a number of other characteristics…

[OUFM] came out swinging today with its first TV ad, slated to air across the state in opposition to the “license to discriminate” initiative. Featuring renowned civil rights activist Kathleen Saadat, the 30-second spot compares Oregon’s Initiative Petition 52 to Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation and similarly racist policies that allowed employers to hire only white people, placing infamous signs reading “Whites Only.”

Hopefully they won’t be able to gather enough signatures to get it on te ballot in the first place.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

USA, Ohio: Ballot Initiative Put on Hold; Gubernatorial Candidate Supports Ruling

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

A couple new stories coming out of Ohio on marriage equality. First off, FreedomOhio is putting its referendum on overturning the state’s ban on hold pending the upcoming ruling.

On Top Magazine reports:

FreedomOhio, the group working on a ballot initiative to repeal Ohio’s ban on gay marriage, announced Friday that it is placing its initiative on hold. FreedomOhio will “hold its original petition for marriage equality in a state of readiness for filing, while collecting signatures on a new petition with revised language,” the group said in a statement. Explaining that it wanted to “ensure that the right language is placed on the ballot at the right time,” the group said it will “continue to work with in-state LGBT groups and allies.”

The group subsequently announced plans to work on an initiative for the Equal Housing and Employment Act.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Ian James, executive director of FreedomOhio, says the organization plans to begin circulating a petition for the Equal Housing and Employment Act. The initiated statute effort takes time and multiple steps, starting with the group needing to collect roughly 116,000 valid signatures to get the idea before state lawmakers. The General Assembly then would have four months to act on the proposed law. Depending on that outcome, another petition could be circulated to get the proposal before voters.

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Ed FitzgeraldFinally, Ohio gubernatorial hopeful Ed Fitzgerald (D, Cuyahoga County) announced his support for the pending ruling.

On Top Magazine reports:

Cuyahoga County Executive and Ohio gubernatorial hopeful Ed Fitzgerald on Friday applauded a federal judge’s preliminary ruling ordering Ohio to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples… “As governor, I will support marriage equality and work to move Ohio forward for all its residents,” Fitzgerald, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Who you love and commit yourself to should not be prohibited by governments.”

Ohio’s current Republican Governor John Kasich opposes marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Ohio.