A ruling from the Texas Supreme Court gives the Houston City Council until August 24 to repeal the controversial Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) or place it on the November ballot.
The ordinance prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to a list of other characteristics—sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, and pregnancy.
The law took effect June 27, but the state supreme court ruled on July 24 that the city council has until August 24 to either repeal the measure or put it to a citywide vote. Opponents of the ordinance collected signatures on a repeal petition after the council passed the measure in May 2014. At first, the city secretary said the opponents had enough signatures to force a vote. Later, many of the signatures were thrown out, but the supreme court decided the petition was properly certified.