Haynes and Boone Team Represents City in Houston Equal Rights Ordinance Win


A state district court judge has found that opponents of Houston’s equal rights ordinance failed to gather the necessary number of valid signatures to force a repeal referendum, a victory for the city and its team of Haynes and Boone, LLP defense lawyers.

The ordinance prohibits discrimination by businesses and employers in the city, with an exception for religious organizations. Opponents of the ordinance, objecting to the protections extended to gay and transgender residents, filed a petition to repeal the ordinance.  However, the petition contained numerous errors and forgeries and the city rejected it, triggering the lawsuit.

The city called on Haynes and Boone lawyers to provide procedural expertise as part of the trial team and serve as lead counsel in all appellate proceedings.  Following a lengthy court battle, which included a successful jury trial and related proceedings in the trial court and appellate courts, District Judge Robert Schaffer upheld the city’s decision to reject the petition.

The defense team included Haynes and Boone Houston Partners Lynne Liberato and Kent Rutter and Houston Associates Will Feldman and Steven Messer, along with lawyers from Susman Godfrey LLP and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

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