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-Houston Backs Down On Subpoenas for Pastors’ Sermons? Sort of But Not Quite

by Dr. D ~ October 16th, 2014

English: Annise Parker, city controller of Hou...

                     (Mayor Annise Parker: Wikipedia)

After a firestorm of criticism across the entire country, yesterday Houston’s activist mayor seemingly backed away from subpoenas demanding Pastor’s sermons on a variety of subjects including homosexuality and LGBT issues.

The update initially sounded good but in reality the demands from the pastors have merely been refocused to only include any communication or sermons specifically mentioning the mayor and the transgender ‘bathroom ordinance.’

Here’s the story from the Washington Times:

After calling church sermons “fair game” for subpoena, Houston Mayor Annise Parker backed down Wednesday from the city’s effort to force local pastors to turn over speeches and papers related to a hotly contested transgender rights ordinance. …

The pastors and their allies called the city’s broad demand a threat to religious freedom and proof that gay and transgender rights bills can be used as weapons to demonize Christianity. …

Ms. Parker’s office initially doubled down in the face of such criticism but issued a statement late Wednesday saying the mayor “agrees with those who are concerned about the city legal department’s subpoenas for pastors’ sermons.” …

The statement says the city will “move to narrow the scope during an upcoming court hearing” and that city attorney David Feldman “says the focus should be only on communications related to the petitions to overturn the ordinance.” …

<Read the whole article>

Response: So the subpoenas are still active but the focus has been narrowed to cover any and all communications and sermons that mention the mayor and the transgender bathroom ordinance. Much better than the initial ‘witch hunt’ including all mention of homosexuality but still a questionable abuse of government power against pastors who oppose the bill because of the possible abuses of religious liberty inherent within the provision.

We agree with the ADF attorney who characterized the mayor’s supposed turnaround and the narrowing of the subpoena’s focus as being “wholly inadequate.”             *Top

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