HOUSTON - Social conservative opponents of Mayor Annise Parker's equal rights ordinance gathered almost 52,000 signatures on petitions calling for a referendum to put the issue to voters. However, they needed roughly 17,000 to do so.
The city secretary said thousands of pages of these petitions were invalid. Many of them were circulated by people who don't live in the city of Houston.
Opponents of the ordinance say they expected this outcome and their lawyers are ready to review it.