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Jury selection begins in Houston Equal Rights Ordinance trial

HOUSTON – Jury selection began Monday in the trial over Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance.

Opponents of the ordinance were hoping for a jury trial, but Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the city wanted a judge to hear the case.

The trial centers around whether or not then-city attorney David Feldman legally invalidated thousands of petition pages that his office said had

notary issues. The petition pages, submitted over the summer by conservative opponents of HERO, were an attempt to force a repeal referendum of the ordinance.The ordinance, passed by the city council in May, bans discrimination in areas such as housing, businesses and city jobs.

Opponents mostly do not agree with the protections that it offers to gay and transgender residents.