Last week we told you how anti-LGBT Houston activist Dave Wilson wants to enshrine a transgender bathroom ban in the city charter.
Earlier today, Wilson turned in his petition seeking to repeal transgender protections in both the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and Mayor Annise Parker's 2012 executive order covering city employees.
But apparently Wilson misread the rules for amending the city charter. He was under the impression that he needed only 17,200 signatures on the petition for his proposal to appear on the ballot. However, Texas law clearly states that he needed 20,000 signatures. As a result, the city rejected Wilson's petition.
"On its face, there's no reason to count them," said Mayor Annise Parker. "And I have no clue what he thought he might achieve by turning in an insufficient number of petitions, other than to show that he couldn't collect enough petitions."
Wilson later conceded he hadn't turned in enough signatures because he misread the arcane rules surrounding petition drives.
He confused the city's requirements for repealing an ordinance with the state's rules for amending city charters. Wilson said he collected roughly 19,700 signatures, but the state's local government code requires at least 20,000.
Wilson — who infamously got elected to the Houston Community College board by pretending to be black — plans to collect the additional 300 required signatures. However, Parker said it's too late — he's already turned in the petition. Besides, the mayor said, because Wilson's petition aims to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance, it needed to be turned in within 30 days of the law's passage last May:
"We're going to stack 'em up and put 'em on a shelf someplace," Parker said of the petitions. "And we're not going to process them."
The city also rejected a separate petition to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance, saying it didn't have enough valid signatures due to problems such as rampant forgery. Anti-LGBT activists sued the city over the decision, and a judge is expected to issue a ruling soon.
At some point, you'd think these folks would learn not to mess with Parker.