In May, Mayor Parker rammed through the city council a controversial transgender rights measure called the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), otherwise known as the “bathroom bill.” It would allow men who self identify as females to use the women’s bathroom and vice versa. Obviously, the ordinance was controversial and five local pastors mounted a successful campaign to gather 50,000 signatures to oppose the measure. This was more than three times the number of signatures necessary to force a voter referendum on the ordinance.
Despite the overwhelming number of signatures gathered, the city attorney claimed there were “irregularities” with the petitions, which were summarily dismissed. Thereafter, a lawsuit was filed by four citizens outraged at such disregard for public sentiment. A court date has been set for January 19 to decide this matter.
In the name of fighting discrimination, Houston is engaged in discrimination against heterosexual citizens who are not confused about their gender. Of special concern should be the women of Houston who should not have to encounter individuals, regardless of their sexual confusion, with male “equipment” in their bathrooms.
In the meantime, an upset Mayor Parker decided to make these pastors pay for their obstinacy. Her attorneys sent them a subpoena demanding that they turn over any sermons or communications that discussed the Mayor, homosexuality, gender identity or related issues.
Such a request is mind-boggling, as it clearly trashes the 1st Amendment rights of free speech and places the pulpit in political cross-hairs.
Politicians have no business dictating or intimidating pastors who preach the Word of God. The pastoral message is for the church congregants, not the Mayor of Houston.
After intense nationwide criticism, the Mayor reduced the scope of the subpoenas to just communications related to the “bathroom bill.”
In fact, no subpoena should be recognized and the Mayor is acting like a third world dictator by mounting such a campaign. Joe La Rue of the Alliance Defending Freedom called the Mayor’s move to limit the subpoena “wholly inadequate.” He noted that the Mayor is still demanding pastoral documents and sermons. La Rue’s group filed a lawsuit in Texas District Court seeking to invalidate the subpoenas since they constitute political “harassment.”
This outrageous episode once again exposes how liberals love to use the “separation of church and state” excuse to throw prayer out of public schools, but forget the wall when they are on a political witch hunt designed to silence religious leaders.
Liberals like Mayor Parker also have a disdain for free speech. Contrary views opposed to gay marriage and transgender rights are not allowed in this liberal mindset, they should be outlawed.
This mindset is appropriate for communist Cuba or China or the old Soviet Union, but not in the country known as the Land of the Free.
Sadly, political correctness is sweeping the nation from the movement to remove the name Redskins from our vocabulary to the desire to institute transgender rights, no matter how many pastors oppose it and no matter what the Bible says.
The passage of HERO and the misguided subpoenas indicate the Mayor of Houston has no regard for religious liberty. According to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) the Mayor has “no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons.” He called the subpoenas “un-American” and a "grotesque abuse of power,"
One of the targeted pastors, Hernan Castano, told a Houston television station, "This is not what America, the nation, is about." He said the subpoenas amounted to intimidation that the city has “gone too far.”
Pastor Castano, you speak for the vast majority of Americans, who are sick and tired of political correctness run amok.