FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dave Welch
Pastors’ coalition applauds judge’s decision to preserve jury trial
Houston, TX – Texas Civil District Court Judge Robert Schaeffer posted his decision late Tuesday denying the City of Houston’s attempt to eliminate the jury trial for the lawsuit brought by citizens and pastors challenging the City’s invalidation of over 50,000 signatures submitted to repeal the “Equal Rights Ordinance” passed by city council. The coalition of pastors who helped organize the opposition to the ordinance and the gathering of the signatures was very pleased with Judge Schaeffer’s decision.
“The continued and increasingly desperate attempts by Mayor Parker, her City Attorney David Feldman and their legion of high powered attorneys to keep any decision regarding this ordinance out of the hands of ordinary Houston citizens has reached a new low by the assault on the right to trial by jury,” stated the No UNequal Rights Coalition leadership. “The Mayor declared last week that she considers it a normal legal tactic just like subpoenas, so what we again witness is an administration willing to go to any lengths to deprive the citizens having a voice on this issue that threatens the religious freedom and public safety of Houston citizens,” the coalition added.
The trial itself is scheduled to begin January 20 and the coalition leadership expressed optimism in the process and outcome of the trial. “In spite of an historic and unrelenting attack by Mayor Parker on the basic voting and First Amendment rights of Houston citizens, we believe the facts will prove what City Secretary Anna Russell has confirmed twice; that we did meet the charter standards, submitted valid signatures and that this should go to a vote of the people,” they concluded.