The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.
“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”
ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.
“Political and social commentary is not a crime,” Holcomb said. “It is protected by the First Amendment.”
The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over the Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa. The city council approved the law in June.
The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.
However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.
After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.
The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.
“City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” said ADF attorney Erik Stanley. “This is designed to intimidate pastors.”
Mayor Parker will not explain why she wants to inspect the sermons. I contacted City Hall for a comment and received a terse reply from the mayor’s director of communications.
“We don’t comment on litigation,” said Janice Evans.What else are we to expect from a militant liberal like Parker, who acts in a bullying manner similar to Obama. Now, to demand copies of sermons simply because they might disagree with her lifestyle choice is a page out of Nazi Germany or some other fascistic regime.
I wonder if she'd be willing to do the same if there were a group of people who were recruiting for terrorists in Houston?
Well, there have been reports of attempts to recruit for ISIS in Houston, including one who was simply "escorted" out of a mosque, but does Parker investigate? No, she has Iftar dinners with Houston-area Muslims, including groups (according to ACT for America - Houston) linked to radical Wahhabist Islam.
And if you're a firefighter in Houston who allegedly makes anti-Islamic posts on your Facebook page, you'll lose your job.
But if you are a Bible-believing Christian in Houston, you apparently don't have the rights guaranteed to you under the First Amendment (freedom to worship, freedom of speech).
Welcome to the new America that the liberal Democrats want to impose on all of us.
MORE: Mayor Annise Parker Needs a Bible, Will You Send Her One? Erick Erickson, RedState