Petition to Repeal Ordinance

Jun 06, 2014

Houston's First is joining with other churches, organizations, and individuals to collect signatures on a petition asking the City of Houston City Council to repeal in its entirety Ordinance No. 2014-530 — also known as the 'Equal Rights Ordinance.'


The Ordinance

On May 28, 2014, the City Council approved the measure by a vote of 11-6 and the Mayor made it effective immediately with her signature. In addition to other provisions, the ordinance allows individuals to use public restrooms, locker rooms, showers, and similar facilities based on the gender which they identify themselves as — not the gender they were created by God.

While the specific language referring to access to restrooms was removed prior to the City Council's vote, legal analysts agree that the ordinance still allows for biological males to enter restrooms designated for female use. And, biological females may use those intended for male use.

The ordinance specifically lists "gender identity" as a "protected characteristic" along with sex, race, color, ethnicity, age, military status, disability, religion, and others.

Prior to the passing of the ordinance, Pastor Gregg shared his thoughts on the measure in his weekly First Thought message on May 9, 2014.


The Petition

The goal of the petition is to secure 17,000 valid signatures by June 27. The petition calls for City Council to repeal the ordinance. If the necessary number of signatures are obtained, the ordinance would immediately be suspended. Then, if the City Council chooses not to repeal the ordinance, the measure would be placed on ballots for the public to vote upon this November.


Your Role

In addition to praying for our city and our elected leaders, there are two ways that you can support this petition effort:

  1. Sign the petition
    • The Loop (7401 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024)
      • Sundays (June 8, 15, 22) in the Main Foyer or FRC Lobby before or after the 9:15a, 11a, and 5:30p worship services
      • Weekdays thru June 27 at the Receptionist Desk in the Main Foyer (Mon-Fri @ 8a-4:30p)
    • Downtown (1010 Lamar (tunnel level), Houston, TX 77002)
      • Sundays (June 15 & 22) after the 11a worship service
  2. Collect signatures on the petition
    • Instructions and petition pages are available at The Loop and Downtown

In order to sign or collect signatures, you must be registered to vote and eligible to vote for the Mayor of Houston.

Verifying Your Voter Registration

You can verify your voter registration status and information on the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector's website: http://www.hctax.net/Voter/Search

  1. Enter your name or address in the search field.
  2. Find your name in the search results.
  3. Click on the Certificate Number in the left column.
  4. Under "Other Districts You Reside In" verify that City of Houston is listed.
  5. Print a copy or make a note of the exact way your name and address are listed on your voter registration record. You must use that information when signing the petition.

If you are not registered to vote or if you are registered to vote in a suburb or a municipality within Houston (such as Bellaire, West U, Memorial villages, etc.), then you are not eligible to participate in the petition.


Houston's First's Role

Making the petition available for signing and equipping people to collect signatures are just two ways that Houston's First is involved in this effort. In addition, the church provides the following services:

  • Notaries. The Loop Campus has notaries on staff who can notarize signed petition pages — a requirement for them to be submitted. Anybody with a petition page needing to be notarized can stop by during business hours (Mon-Fri @ 8a-4:30p) and inquire at the Receptionist Desk in the Main Foyer.
  • Petition Drop Location. The Loop Campus is one of several designated locations where petition pages can be dropped off. Pages must be dropped off by Friday, June 27. A list of other drop locations can be found here.

Contact

If you have questions about the ordinance, the petition effort, or how you can help gather signatures, visit the petition organizers' website at NoUnequalRights.com. or call them at 832.688.9166.

If you have specific questions about Houston's First's role, contact Steven W. Murray, Director of Communications, at Steven.Murray@HoustonsFirst.org or 713.957.5890.

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