Pastors Plan to Organize and Protest Houston's Subpoenas

| by Lisa Fogarty

After news spread that the city of Houston had subpoenaed a group of pastors to hand over their sermons if they contained messages about homosexuality, gender issues or Annise Parker, the city's first openly-lesbian mayor, Christians from across the nation are running to their defense, reports Fox News.

The preachers have been ordered to comply in accordance with the city’s passage of a new non-discrimination ordinance called the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which is also known as the “Bathroom Bill” because it, among other things, allows men who identify as women to use the ladies restroom in public arenas.

The law has yet to take effect, but opponents of the ordinance filed a lawsuit against the city. None of the five pastors who were subpoenaed were reportedly involved in the lawsuit, but City Attorney David Feldman said they were still active opponents of the bill.

“They are not party plaintiffs but they certainly appeared before council repeatedly regarding the ordinance and the petition,” Feldman said. The attorney defended Parker and said she had nothing to do with the subpoenas – that those were his idea.

But Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said the city should stay out of its churches.

“The government has absolutely no reason to bully congregations who are speaking about what they believe,” Moore said. “It’s none of the government’s business.”

He added: "It didn't sound like something that would happen in America. It is shocking in its audacity and it is buffoonish in its strategy. I can't imagine who in City Hall thought this was a good idea." 

Dave Welch, the executive director of the Texas Pastor Council and one of the preachers who received a subpoena, said pastors all over Texas are planning to hold a “Don’t Mess With Texas Pulpit Sunday” protest in the near future. His message to city officials regarding their demand was simple and clear: “My answer to that is – bring it on,” he said.

Source: Fox News

Photo Credit: Ollie Jones/Flickr,