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Houston Lesbian Mayor Goes After Priests’ Free Speech

Houston, We Have a Problem: Lesbian Control Freak want Pastors to Send their Sermons to City Hall for Approval

Annise-Parker-Lesbian-Fasci  Houston Lesbian Mayor Goes After Priests’ Free Speech Annise Parker Lesbian Fasci

Mayor Parker is a former gay activist who recently married her partner.

After spending the last four years forcing her extreme agenda on the city of Houston, Mayor Annise Parker may have finally picked a fight she’s bound to regret by unleasing her attack dogs on Texas’ Christian Pastors. Five months after bullying her way into a Houston-wide LGBT “bathroom bill,” Parker is furious that the city’s voters won’t roll over and accept it.  Furious with local pastors for leading the pushback, Parker decided to get her revenge by ordering a “Soviet-style crackdown on area churches.” [1] The subpoenas demand that the five pastors turn over “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance), the Petition against the bill, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by [the pastors] or in [the pastors’] possession.” [2]   The infamous Houston “bathroom bill” is a law that was passed in June 2014 that allows members of the opposite sex to use each other’s restrooms in the name of “diversity.” Outraged, Houston residents responded by collecting 50,000 signatures to get the measure repealed, which is three times the amount required to put the issue on the ballot.  However, lesbian Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman rejected the petition, prompting its supporters  to file a lawsuit, Woodfill v. Parker.  The city shot back by demanding that pastors opposed to the law hand over “communications with church members” to determine which pastors have “opposed or criticized the city.”  The pastors facing subpoena are being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)–a law firm for religious liberty.  Although the issue at hand is the petition which the Mayor and City Attorney threw out–an action which Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) claims “defied the law.” [3] ADF lead attorney Erik Stanley agrees with the pastors.  On October 15 Stanley told Breitbart News:  There’s been some discussion about the motivation behind this. [4] One of the things that’s interesting is if you look at the subpoena there appears to be a political motivation.  On October 15 Breitbart News sat down with ADF’s lead attorney for this case, Erik Stanley. He confirmed that ADF “is representing the five pastors who have been subpoenaed.” He also said ADF has “filed a motion to quash the subpoenas.”When we asked about the motivation behind subpoenaing the pastors, Stanley said:

There’s been some discussion about the motivation behind this. One of things that’s interesting is if you look at the subpoena there appears to be a political motivation. For example, in Sec. 2, Para. 12, they are asking for communication relating to Mayor Annise Parker (D). What possible reference does that have regarding whether signatures on a petition were valid? [5]

Breitbart also asked Stanley what aspect of the subpoenaed information represented the starkest affront to the First Amendment. He said:

One of clearest aspects is in Sec. 2, Para. 12, which asks for sermons on homosexuality or gender identity. Sec. 2, Para 4, is also a clear affront, as it asks for pastors’ communication with their members. This would include text messages. [6]

In conclusion Stanley said: “It’s a fishing expedition and it runs roughshod over the First Amendment.” [7]

The Pastors’ Reply

dave-welsh  Houston Lesbian Mayor Goes After Priests’ Free Speech dave welsh

Dave Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council

Evangelical leaders are angry after city officials in Houston subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose an equal rights ordinance that provides protections to the LGBT community.   Dave Welch, the executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, is one of the five ministers who received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by Annise Parker, who is the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, nor will he comply with the city’s demands. “My answer to that is – bring it on,” he said.  Houston’s city attorney issued the subpoenas in a response to a lawsuit filed related to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (H.E.R.O.), the city’s new non-discrimination ordinance, also known as the “Bathroom Bill.”  The new law, which has yet to take effect, would (among other things) allow men who identify as women to use the restrooms of their choice – and vice versa. Opponents launched a petition drive to put the issue on the ballot.  However, the city threw out the petitions claiming there were not enough legitimate signatures. Opponents then filed a lawsuit – which led the city to issue the subpoenas.  [8] Ironically, none of the five subpoenaed pastors are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.  [9]  The Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, a local businessman, and two Houston pastors have filed the lawsuit against the city of Houston, Mayor Annise Parker, and the city Secretary for the “Houston Equal Rights Ordinance” (or “HERO”), which they argue opens the doors for sexual predators to enter women’s restrooms under the guise of “confused gender identity,” Breitbart reports.  But this lawsuit has provoked the city of Houston to subpoena city pastors – who reportedly have nothing to do with the lawsuit – for any sermons and communications which have ever discussed the “HERO Act,” the mayor, or sexuality and gender issues.  [10] It is a good thing that the Mayor and the ruling elite in Houston are backing down, because a whole bunch of pastors are willing to go to jail over this. In the fight for religious liberty, Texans remember the Alamo and will most certainly fight to the bitter end for their Constitutional rights. Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, said pastors around the nation should rally around the Houston ministers. [11]

Annise-Parker-Houston-Lesbi  Houston Lesbian Mayor Goes After Priests’ Free Speech Annise Parker Houston Lesbi

The Mayor Backs Pedal a Bit Witnessing the Tremendous Outrage

On the aftermath of the bombshell news that Houston City Officials subpoenaed the sermon notes and private communications of five city pastors to see if they criticized the city’s “Bathroom Bill” or Mayor Annise Parker (D), New York magazine is arguing that Houston’s “Lesbian Mayor” is not out to get the pastors. NYM says Mayor Parker “doesn’t care” if the pastors did or didn’t say about her and claims she didn’t “even hear about the subpoenas” until October 14.  [12]  Turns out, Parker is now backing down amidst a tremendous outcry against what was perceived as a blatant violation of religious rights, protected under the Constitution.  Parker has since backed away from the controversial court order, claiming it will be “clarified.”  [13] Parker, who says she hadn’t heard about the subpoenas until yesterday, doesn’t care if pastors called her a dirty sinner or advocated for overturning the Equal Rights Ordinance. According to what she said, the subpoenas were sent by outside attorneys working for the city. They were looking into what instructions pastors gave out to those collecting signatures for a referendum on the non-discrimination law. Which means they want to learn about what exactly the pastors said, and what the collectors knew about the rules, is one of the key issues in pending litigation around whether opponents of the law gathered enough signatures for a referendum.

“There’s no question, the wording was overly broad. But I also think there was some deliberate misinterpretation on the other side,” Parker said at a press conference Wednesday. “The goal is to find out if there were specific instructions given on how the petitions should be accurately filled out. It’s not about, ‘What did you preach on last Sunday?'” [14]

To reiterate: The mayor’s office is not interested in what they preached, or how the pastors feel about Parker or her sexual orientation. Those things are all well protected under the First Amendment, as they should be.  All officials want to know, they say, ” is what kinds of instructions the pastors gave out with respect to collecting petition signatures, and whether what they said agrees with what they’re arguing in court while appealing the referendum.” [15] In an email to Intelligencer, the mayor’s office confirmed that the city will narrow the scope of inquiry into the pastors’ communications to more directly target HERO petitions.  But we can clearly see in her non-verbal attitude during the round of questions of the press conference (see the videos) that she is very upset about this step back she seems obliged to take to calm down public opinions and the political pressure. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, was on Fox News claiming that Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D) is “taking a bulldozer to that wall of separation [of church and state]” and trying to “dictate what pastors preach.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted that the subpoenas constitute a “march against our freedoms.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called the subpoenas a “grotesque abuse of power.” And Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (R) wrote to the Houston City Attorney that the subpoenas should be unilaterally withdrawn because they reflect “hostility to religious beliefs.” At Fox News, Todd Starnes writes, “I predicted that the government would one day try to silence American pastors. I warned that under the guise of ‘tolerance and diversity’ elected officials would attempt to deconstruct religious liberty. Sadly, that day arrived sooner than even I expected.” [16]

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[1]  Tony Perkins , ‘Stunned’ in Houston: Pastors Vow to Fight Mayor’s Sermon Grab, Christian Post, October 16, 2014|10:16 am; Caroline Schaeffer, Houston City Council Issues Subpoena to Inspect Pastors’ Sermons for Criticism of Its New Law, IJReview, October 15, 2014; Dan Butcher, Houston, we have a problem: Mayor subpoenas sermons of local pastors, The Pundit Press, October 14, 2014
[2] Paul Joseph Watson, Houston Demand to See Pastors’ Sermons a Chilling Attempt to Silence Free Speech, InfoWars.com, October 15, 2014; Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons in gay rights ordinance case, Religion News, October 14, 2014
[8]  Todd Starnes, City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons, FoxNews, October 14, 2014
[9] Todd Starnes, Pastors to Mayor: Don’t Mess with Texas Pulpits, Tea Party News Network, October 15, 2014
[10] Lana Shadwick, Houston Equal Rights Ordinance Faces Sharp Criticism, Breitbart, 9 May 2014
 [11] Sarah Rumpf, Houston Mayor Backs Off From Subpoenas to Pastors, Breitbart, 15 Oct 2014 ; Valerie Richardson, Bully pulpit: Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons, then backs off amidst outcry, The Washington Times, Wednesday, October 15, 2014; Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, Pastors to Mayor: Don’t Mess with Texas Pulpits – Hands Off Our Sermons, Right Wing News, 16 Oct, 2014
 [13]  Todd Starnes, City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons, FoxNews, October 14, 2014
[14] Katie Zavadski, Is Houston’s Lesbian Mayor Really Out to Get Conservative Preachers? October 15, NYMag, 2014 5:37 p.m
[15]  Katie Zavadski, Is Houston’s Lesbian Mayor Really Out to Get Conservative Preachers? October 15, NYMag, 2014 5:37 p.m.
[16]  Todd Starnes, City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons, FoxNews, October 14, 2014

About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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