Plano City Councilman-elect Ron Kelley

Two opponents of the Plano Equal Rights Ordinance were elected to Plano City Council yesterday (Saturday, May 5) against opponents who backed the ordinance.

With the backing of conservative activists, clergy members and state legislators, non-profit leader Ron Kelley and retired corporate executive Tom Harrison bested their opponents in their elections for two of the city’s at large council seats.

According to the Dallas Morning News, both were motivated to run because of the ordinance, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and other classes. Citing a lack of community input and the speed at which it was implemented, the candidates said the measure should have been voted on by Plano residents.

“That issue should have been put on the ballot,” Kelley said. “The citizens of Plano should have had a right to decide.”

Despite the ERO’s passage in December, however, an attempt by local and national activists to put the ordinance up for a referendum failed after the city secretary found it lacked enough valid signatures. The ordinance also faced local uproar over exemptions, including by some in the trans community. But city officials stood by the measure.