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Houston Demands That Pastors Turn In Their Sermons

Houston Demands That Pastors Turn In Their Sermons

annise-parker

Houston elected Annise Parker, an open lesbian, as mayor in 2010. This year, the city passed an equal-rights ordinance which “bans” anti-gay discrimination and would require, among other things, the “right” of men to use women’s restrooms and vice versa — it’s basically political correctness run amok, serving solely to soothe the easily bruised egos of LGBTQ activists who love using the government to force other citizens to do what they want. Now the equal-rights ordinance is making waves again, as Houston officials have demanded that pastors turn over any sermons that talk about homosexuality, Annise Parker, gender identity, or anything else that officials might find offensive.

Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance took another legal turn this week when it surfaced that city attorneys, in an unusual step, subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose the law and are tied to the conservative Christian activists that have sued the city.

Opponents of the equal rights ordinance are hoping to force a repeal referendum when they get their day in court in January, claiming City Attorney David Feldman wrongly determined they had not gathered enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. City attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case’s discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

The subpoenas were issued to several high-profile pastors and religious leaders who have been vocal in opposing the ordinance. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion on behalf of the pastors seeking to quash the subpoenas.

So the city’s equal-rights ordinance is being used to trample of the free speech rights of Houston’s religious leaders.

Opponents already were able to amass over 50,000 signatures on a petition in an effort to get the ordinance thrown out, with only 17,269 signatures needed for it to be put on a ballot. Unsurprisingly, city officials threw the petition out, claiming “irregularities”. Opponents then filed a lawsuit, to which city officials responded by issuing the subpoena for the pastors’ lawsuits. To make it worse, the pastors were not part of the lawsuit — they just had the apparent audacity to publicly oppose the ordinance.

It’s nothing more than a blatant attempt to use the force of government to intimidate religious leaders for daring to openly, publicly, disagree with the government. There are also suspicions that Parker will use the IRS, which as we know, already loves targeting conservatives, to revoke the churches’ tax-exempt status.

A subpoena solely for electoral activity would be understandable, due to the tax exemption that churches receive, but any remarks about Annise Parker or homosexuality? So if a Catholic pastor dares to say, in Houston, that they disagree with Annise Parker’s lifestyle or that they believe homosexuality is a sin, then they apparently are inviting the government’s persecution for open expressing their religious beliefs. This is, quite frankly, an outrage.

We have this thing called a First Amendment, and it promises Americans that the government cannot bully, intimidate, supervise, or harass religious institutions for expressing beliefs that politicians may not agree with. And let’s be honest — there’s an obvious conflict of interest here. The city of Houston has no business telling pastors what they can or cannot preach about from the pulpit, no matter how politically incorrect the city’s lesbian mayor may think it is, or how much she may want to cram her homosexuality down the throats of her city’s Christians.

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8 Comments
  • Jodi says:

    They should demand a complete list of all her previous sex partners. Maybe then she’ll get a clue.

  • TMR says:

    This action is an abject violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. If she was sworn in to “uphold the Constitution”, then she has violated that by demanding their sermons.

    It should be grounds for her immediate dismissal as mayor.

  • Chris in N.Va. says:

    Other than blatantly violating the first two — and possibly the third — phrases of the First Amendment, there’s nothing to really worry about, right? Just a small ripple on the pond.

    Other than that minor incident, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

    How many eggs, again, were required for this Progressive omelet?

  • Claire Stevens says:

    Annise Parker is determined to make Houston a viable rival with east coast and west coast big cities, NYC and San Francisco in particular. In order to accomplish this she must oust and squash anything that looks like backwoods Texas to these big city sophisticates, namely Christianity and anything that might infringe on the Cult of Me. Make no mistake: she’s evil and she will stop at nothing to get what she wants, all under the guise of intellectual sophistication and moral superiority.

  • Stacy says:

    In response to the subpoenas, the ministers should respond with “We’d like to comply, but our hard drives crashed. And have been physically destroyed.”

    • Chris in N.Va. says:

      Classic!

      Combine that with a 5th Amendment plea and the ever-popular, never-goes-out-of-style laywerese response, “I have no recollection.”

      Where’s Sandy Burger with his expandable underwear and socks when you need him for those inconvenient documents?

  • Appalled By The World says:

    May I sue someone because I feel like I’m a victim of heterophobia yet?

    Seriously, the Left seems bent on creating some sort of apartheid America where all the minority groups will oppress the majority-and the more crackpot the minority group is, the worse the oppression becomes.

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