Dave Wilson will never go away

What’s that definition of insanity again?

Dave Wilson

Dave Wilson

Opponents of Houston’s equal rights ordinance have once again submitted petitions calling for a voter referendum to put a gender identity issue on the ballot in November, but the mayor says it’s not going to happen.

Anti-gay activist Dave Wilson showed up at Houston City Hall Thursday with boxes of petitions he said bore the signatures of 20,000 voters calling for a referendum on a city charter amendment defining one’s gender as whatever sex was assigned at birth.

“It will prohibit men from going into women’s bathrooms and vice versa in all sex-oriented facilities — like swimming pools, locker rooms — that the city has,” Wilson said.


Wilson said his proposed charter change would effectively nullify much of the equal rights ordinance. And that’s precisely why Mayor Annise Parker said Wilson’s latest petition drive will come to nothing.

“It’s a non-starter, because it has been determined by a federal court that you cannot change an ordinance with a charter amendment,” Parker said.

The legal precedent the mayor cited comes from a ruling in a case involving Houston’s troubled history with red light cameras. It’s a complicated matter involving the difference between an ordinance and the city charter.

Any petition effort to repeal an ordinance in Houston must be completed within 30 days after the passage of that ordinance. Opponents of Houston’s red light cameras thought they’d worked their way around that restriction by proposing not a repeal of the ordinance, but a charter amendment that accomplished the same goal.

But a federal judge issued a sharply worded opinion against that notion.

It was just three months ago that Wilson failed at this the last time, having not turned in enough signatures to meet the statutory minimum. Not that it mattered, since as Mayor Parker points out, you can’t use the charter process to amend an existing ordinance except within a 30 day period of the ordinance taking effect. Needless to say, that ship has long since sailed. But as always this is really all about Dave Wilson getting attention for himself and painting himself as a victim of oppression, both of which he is highly successful at doing. The rest of it, not so much. And to add to the mountain of evidence that the law means nothing to Dave Wilson, he’s filed a lawsuit against the city to force them to count the signatures anyway, presumably before dumping them all in the trash since they’re irrelevant. I guess all this activity keeps him off the streets, so we should be thankful for that. I just pity the poor judge who will have to deal with this, since Wilson is representing himself. (According to the Chron story, the case is in the 270th District Civil Court.) And I’m sure we’ll be back in another few months with another batch of pointless petitions. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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4 Responses to Dave Wilson will never go away

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    You can use a referendum to over rule an election. The Mayor’s City Attorney is relying on the sham lawsuit brought by the City vs. A.T.S. at that time your hero…


    got Judge Lynn Hughes to agree with him to throw out the VOTE. As I am sure you recall we filed a Motion to Intervene to protect the vote. However, the City and your hero…


    opposed our intervention and the Camera’s went back up after the VOTE. I am sure you remember that the 5th Circuit did not agree with Judge Lynn Hughes, the City of Houston and your hero….


    position on our intervention in their sham lawsuit. They said we were more then welcome to come to the party and defend the vote. However, before we could come in and help the City and your hero…


    settled the lawsuit before the mandate from the 5th Circuit ever made it back to Lynn Hughes. The settlement resulted in a dismissal of the City’s case thus making the Red Light Camera Referendum the Law of the City. After we forced the City to follow the will of the people they then repealed their beloved red light camera ordinance.

    No matter what you or I think of David Wilson and his petition what the City is doing is just wrong. The right to Petition the Government is a First Amendment right and by not counting the vote she stepping on those rights.

  2. byron schirmbeck says:

    spot on Paul, the mayor knows she is lying. Plus Arlington did the exact same charter amendment this year and Andy Taylor appealed the district court ruling saying the election must move forward all the way to the Texas Supreme court who took no action and the election stands. Whatever anyone thinks about what Wilson is doing on this issue it serves no one by accepting the mayor’s faulty and deliberately false narrative on what the courts have said.

  3. voter_worker says:

    Let me wrap my mind around this. If Aydian Dowling were to perhaps have some time between flights at IAH, which is in the City of Houston, Mr. Wilson would want to mandate that he use the women’s restroom? That’s what he wants us to vote FOR? http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/transgender-man-vying-chance-men-health-cover-article-1.2186308

  4. Manuel Barrera says:

    Let us see how the Judge rules on Monday after the hearing.

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