This afternoon, the Houston City Secretary announced that opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance failed to collect the number of verified signatures required to put the bill up for a vote on an upcoming election ballot. 

Opponents of HERO previously claimed they submitted a total of 50,000 signatures and are likely to challenge the City Secretary's decision in court.

The Houston City Council passed HERO in May by a vote of 11 to 6. The ordinance, which was introduced by Mayor Annise Parker in April, will protect all residents and visitors from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations. 

The ordinance includes protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, and pregnancy.

Cities and counties across the country have ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. To find out more about what cities are doing to support their LGBT residents and visitors, check out HRC's Municipal Equality Index.

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