November 4, 2015

Significant votes

Houston Chronicle, TX - Houston's controversial equal rights ordinance failed by a wide margin, with voters opting to repeal the law that offered broad non-discrimination protections, according to incomplete and unofficial returns.  Largely conservative opponents of the law allege that it would allow men dressed as women, including sexual predators, to enter women's restrooms. Supporters of the law, including Mayor Annise Parker, argue that it extends an important local recourse for a range of protected classes to respond to discrimination.  The ordinance bans discrimination based not just on gender identity and sexual orientation, but also 13 classes already protected under federal law: sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status.

City Council passed the law 11-6 in May last year, but conservative foes launched an effort to force a repeal referendum that spanned more than one year of legal challenges. In July, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the city to either repeal the law or place in the ballot.

Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal that would have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana in a single stroke — a vote-getting strategy that was being watched as a potential test case for the nation. 65% opposed the proposal

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