Many were disheartened by the "successful" petition to overturn Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, which protects LGBT+ individuals and other members of groups from discrimination. But now it appears signatures on the petition may have been forged.
Despite the legal challenges to the law, the City of Houston had already found serious issues with the validity of the pages provided, finding that many pages were invalid and that many of the names on the petitions were not valid Houston voters, according to the Houston Chronicle. That brought up the possibility (pretty much expected, honestly) of outside interference in Houstonian decision making, but now many of those signatures might not even belong to real people—or at least may not have been signed by the people the signatures name, reports the Houston Press. It obtained some pretty strong physical evidence from the city that signatures are"purportedly from many different people, all of whom have the same handwriting."
Apparently, not only has one of two individuals who jointly filed the suit now dropped out because of these allegations, according to ThinkProgress, but another individual responsible for collecting signatures on the petition paperwork actually testified in his deposition that he signed off on signatures that were actually not collected in his presence, and he even admitted during the deposition that he recognised the signatures in question all looked very similar.
The judge currently considering the case of the petitioners is expected to make a decision on how to proceed in the upcoming days.
Images via Shutterstock/HoustonPress.com