SAN ANTONIO -- The effort to force a referendum on the recently approved non-discrimination ordinance in San Antonio has failed. Opponents of the updated ordinance did not collect enough signatures to force it onto the ballot.
The deadline for the petition was Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.
Pastor Gerald Ripley of Abundant Life Church led the petition drive to put the measure to a city-wide vote.
On Tuesday, KENS 5's Deborah Knapp confirmed the movement did not garner enough signatures of support.
"We did not collect the 61,045 signatures that we needed," Ripley said.
Those signatures would've represented 10 percent of eligible city voters -- the quota required to force a referendum.
Mayor Julian Castro was quick to respond when the petition failed.
"I'm glad people can move on from divisive attempts to undo an ordinance that was always commonsense about treating everybody the same," Castro said.
On September 5, 2013, San Antonio City Council passed the controversial ordinance that prevents discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Opponents promised to fight to repeal it.
Ripley decided to build a website. A total of 53 churches from across the city officially registered on the site in order to collect petition signatures.
The Archdiocese of San Antonio said no Catholic churches participated in the campaign.
"We ran out of time. If we'd had more time, we would have accomplished it," Ripley explained.
Last month, City Attorney Michael Bernard had said if there are any legal challenges, the city will defend the updated ordinance.
Ripley would not say how many signatures the movement gathered; however, he did say the fight is not over.
"The next step is 2015 and the city elections," Ripley said. "We will go to the 2015 election and find council representatives who will vote according to the will of the people."
While the non-discrimination ordinance repeal failed, the effort to recall council members who supported the ordinance continues.