Groups that are seeking to recall Councilman Diego Bernal over that Gay and Lesbian non discrimination ordinance say they are about five sixths of the way toward their goal, despite what they say is continued harassment by city officials, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  "We think in about two weeks we will be giving City Council the signatures necessary for a recall," said spokeswoman Gina Castaneda, who is a spokeswoman for the recall effort.


  Bernal was the chief sponsor of the measure, which added sexual orientation and 'gender identity' to the list of protected groups under the city's anti discrimination law.  The proposal passed council 8-3 and is now in effect.


  The City Charter says members of council can be placed up for a recall election if citizens can get the signatures of 10 percent of the registered voters in the councilman's district.  Castaneda estimates that it about 6,000 signatures and the group has already gotten about 5,000.


  But Castaneda says the group has endured harassment from city officials.


  "Diego himself has told us this is illegal, what we are doing," she said.


  The group says city employees on city time have been taking pictures of people circulating petitions, they have been 'visited daily' by the Police Department, and have been ordered not to park in public parking spaces.


  The group was also attempting to recall Mayor Castro, who was a big backer of the proposal, but recalling the Mayor requires the signatures of 10% of all registered voters in the city, which would be a major undertaking.


  The City Charter requires Council to call a special recall election within 30 days of the City Clerk certifying the validity of the signatures on the petition.


 Some people circulating petitions have been claiming that the measure has led to me entering women's restrooms and sexually assaulting little girls, but the law specifcially excludes any mention of restrooms, and there have been no reports of any sexual assaults related to the NDO>