Anti-gay El Paso group plans big push to illegally gather signatures in churches this weekend

Posted on 09 Sep 2011 at 11:41am

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, an anti-gay group in El Paso is gathering signatures in an effort to recall three city officials who voted earlier this year to restore domestic partner benefits for city employees.

The deadline for the group to submit the signatures is next week, and it remains unclear whether they’ll have enough to force elections later this year.

On Thursday night, Mayor John Cook, one of the targets of the recall effort, issued a statement saying he may sue to challenge the signatures because the group has been gathering them illegally in churches, in violation of the Texas Election Code.

Last month, the El Paso County district attorney announced an investigation into allegations that the group was illegally using churches to gather signatures, and a complaint has been filed with the IRS.

If the anti-gay group gathers enough signatures, the recall elections will cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, of the 19 city employees who signed up for DP benefits, only two are gay.

A group called No Recall has formed to counter the recall effort.

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