City Tosses Transphobic Petition to Amend Charter, Citing Insufficient Signatures

Hoping to undercut the LGBT protections offered under the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (which is still bogged down in a court battle sparked by other anti-LGBT activists), yesterday Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson filed a petition with the City of Houston to amend the city charter to explicitly bar transgender people from using their restroom of choice.

Under state law, Wilson needed 20,000 signatures on his petition. By his own count, Wilson turned in about 19,700. Needless to say, it didn't take the city long to make a determination.

Here's what Janice Evans, a spokeswoman for Mayor Annise Parker, told us via email yesterday:

Mr. Wilson's petition has two problems:

A petition for a charter change requires 20,000 signatures. By his own admission, he has submitted 19,700.

He is attempting to repeal the HERO ordinance via a charter change. A petition to repeal an ordinance must be submitted no later than 30-days after the ordinance is signed.

Because of these problems, the petition in invalid on its face and we are not going to count the signatures.

Wilson, the guy who pretended to be black to win his seat on the HCC board, sent petitions to voters age 55 and up last month calling for a charter amendment "to prohibit men (who perceive or express themselves as women) from using the women's restroom." Wilson claims he's "protecting a woman's right to privacy."

Wilson told KHOU that he misread the rules about petitioning for a charter amendment, but would soon come back with more signatures.

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Michael Barajas
Contact: Michael Barajas