by Hans Johnson

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was passed by the city council in June, which would allow men and women to use any gender of public restroom with which they most identify. (Men could use women’s restrooms and vice versa.) It sparked a petition by opponents, who gathered over 50,000 signatures to force a referendum  – three times what was required.  But the petition was rejected, citing “irregularities”.

After a lawsuit was filed in August, the city targeted five area pastors (who were NOT involved in the suit) and demanded “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.”

Said Christiana Holcomb, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the pastors:

The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented.The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions. Political and social commentary is not a crime; it is protected by the First Amendment.

This Sunday, November 2, Family Research Council is hosting I Stand Sunday at Grace Community Church in Houston, to be broadcast over the internet.  Among the speakers will be the five pastors, former Governor Mike Huckabee, and Fox News’ Todd Starnes, whose reporting brought much attention to the case.


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