A petition to repeal an LGBT nondiscriimination ordinance in Plano, Texas has been declared invalid, The Dallas Morning News reports:
The petitions stated: “Also under this policy, biological males who declare their ‘gender identity’ as female MAY BE ALLOWED to enter women’s restrooms!”
The ordinance specifically excludes public restrooms, showers, locker rooms and dressing rooms. It states that it is not illegal to “deny the opposite sex access to facilities inside a public accommodation segregated on the basis of sex for privacy.”
By making this false representation, the petition asked residents to repeal an ordinance that didn’t exist, city officials said.
They also said the petitions failed to comply with the Texas Election Code which requires petitions in cities located in two counties to include a column for the signer’s county or voter registration number.
In addition, the petitions failed to include a copy of the ordinance, as required by the Plano City Charter, officials said.
Plano City Attorney Paige Mims said the city contacted the organizing groups three weeks before the petition deadline, alerting them to the problems and providing links to the city charter, Texas Election Code and the secretary of state’s website.
After the email was sent, some information, such as the statement about restrooms, was removed from the petitions. But other omissions were not corrected, Mims said.
The City Council in Plano approved the ordinance 5-3 on December 8 amid intense opposition from anti-LGBT groups and local Republican lawmakers. The ordinance also faces opposition from transgender activists over an exemption for restrooms, nonprofits and educational institutions.
The anti-gay Liberty Institute reacted to the news with the following statement:
“While we are shocked that the City has so little regard for its citizens, we remain committed to advancing religious liberty and challenging this ordinance that clearly violates laws protecting religious freedom.”