Conservative activists seeking to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance trumpeted a small victory Thursday when a court hearing resulted in the ordinance being suspended pending an Aug. 15 hearing.
Mayor Annise Parker, anticipating a lawsuit, had already said she would not enforce the ordinance until there was more legal clarity, but plaintiff and conservative activist Jared Woodfill said Thursday’s result was important.
“I think it makes a big difference because now you have a court order saying you can’t enforce it, even if you change your mind and you wanted to,” Woodfill said.
Woodfill characterized the suspension as having been ordered by visiting State District Judge Jeff Shadwick, a suggestion that prompted a chuckle from City Attorney David Feldman.
“This is not the judge ordering us, this is the city stipulating that it would not enforce, consistent with the mayor’s public representation,” he said.
See here for the previous update, and here for a copy of Judge Shadwick’s order. A hearing on August 15 is cutting is awfully close for this year’s election. If the petitioners ultimately win but can’t get onto the ballot till 2015, will the suspension of enforcement continue? Because if it is allowed to be enforced, I think the haters are going to have an awfully hard time maintaining the illusion that there’s anything harmful about the HERO. Who will believe their lies if they can see for themselves that they’re not true? So much easier to get away with lying when there’s no time for a fact-check. Oh well, sucks to be them.