Target: District Judge Robert Schaffer
Goal: Use a bench trial to determine whether anti-gay groups’ committed petition fraud and punish them accordingly
To protect member of the LGBTQ community from discrimination and offer them justice and equality, Houston’s city council passed the Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, known as HERO for short. Though anti-gay groups have recently tried to repeal this ordinance with a petition, most of its signatures appear to be written in the same handwriting, leading many to be believe that they were forged.
An individual who claimed to be responsible for collecting some of the over 50,000 signatures for the petition was questioned about their authenticity. He admitted that many of the signatures he signed off on were not actually collected in his presence but were collected by other people, an admittance, in essence, that he committed fraud. Still, this group is begging for a trial by jury instead of a bench trial in hopes of playing the victim and winning sympathy from the jury. The anti-gay group is afraid they’ll lose in a bench trial and that the judge will convict them of fraud and forgery.
However, a trial by jury is not necessary and there is enough evidence for a judge alone to make the decision about this case. Please ask Judge Schaffer to send this case to a bench trial and urge him to give these criminals the proper punishment they deserve. Committing crimes of forgery and fraud just to deny equal rights to all people is cruel and manipulative. By signing this petition you will ensure these criminals are punished and that the HERO ordinance has a chance to protect equal rights for everybody.
Dear Judge Schaffer,
Many opponents of the LGBTQ equal rights movement fight to crush the dreams of equality and justice for everyone. Some may even go so far as to commit crimes of forgery and fraud to guarantee laws protecting LGBTQ members do not pass. Recently, an example of this has arisen in Texas, where anti-gay groups have submitted a petition to repeal the HERO ordinance, which would prevent discrimination against LGBTQ members. However, several of these signatures appear to be forged, as they have extremely similar handwriting.
A particular individual responsible for collecting signatures and signing off on several of them already admitted to signing off on signatures he was not physically present for. This is an example of fraud.
These anti-gay groups insist on a trial by jury in the hopes that they will get away with this malicious crime. However, there is enough evidence in this case for a bench trial. These criminals do not deserve sympathy from the public. A fair decision from a judge is necessary in this particular case.
Please help bring these criminals to justice by issuing them a bench trial and giving them the punishment they deserve. Committing forgery and fraud for the sole purpose of preventing equality for everyone is an extremely cruel and manipulative thing to do. The HERO ordinance of Houston, Texas also deserves a chance to provide justice and equality for all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ludovic Bertron via Flickr