Conservatives Say Houston Pastors Subpoenas Matter Is ‘Far From Over’

(PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROBERT STARLING) The Rev. William Owens, president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, speaks at a press conference in Houston, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in support of the five pastors who were subpoenaed to hand over their sermons and speeches to Mayor Annise Parker and the city attorney. Owens was joined by Bishop Michael Bates, senior pastor of Calvary Christian Center in St. Louis, Missouri; Cherilyn Eagar, president of American Leadership Fund; and Jeff Chamberlain.
(PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROBERT STARLING)
The Rev. William Owens, president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, speaks at a press conference in Houston, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in support of the five pastors who were subpoenaed to hand over their sermons and speeches to Mayor Annise Parker and the city attorney. Owens was joined by Bishop Michael Bates, senior pastor of Calvary Christian Center in St. Louis, Missouri; Cherilyn Eagar, president of American Leadership Fund; and Jeff Chamberlain.

Conservative groups believe there’s still much to be done in Houston after Mayor Annise Parker dropped her controversial subpoenas against five pastors who had spoken against homosexuality and the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance.

“Mayor Parker claims she withdrew the subpoenas not because she was wrong to issue them in the first place, but because they were not ‘serving Houston,'” said the conservative American Family Association, which noted that while Parker’s decision was a success, the matter “was far from over.”

“In reality, what they were not serving is the foundation of our nation: religious liberty and the right of conscience.”

Earlier this year, Houston’s city government passed an LGBT ordinance that critics said would, among other things, allow men who identify as female to use women’s bathrooms, and women to identify as male to use men’s bathrooms.

Conservative groups and pastors were able to get tens of thousands of signatures to put the ordinance, known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, on the November ballot.

However, the city refused to recognize the petition and so they were taken to court. Under this context, Houston issued subpoenas for five pastors demanding they turn over their sermons or speeches that dealt with homosexuality, Parker, or HERO.

As with AFA, the Family Research Council has also argued that the situation is not over, claiming that the climate of political intimidation remains.

“While we are encouraged by this evidence that the mayor is responding to pressure and withdrawing her unconstitutional subpoenas, this is about far more than subpoenas,” said FRC President Tony Perkins.

“As we have stated since the beginning of this intrusion into the private affairs of Houston churches; this is not about subpoenas, this is not about sermons, it is not even about biblical teaching on sexual immorality, it is about political intimidation and the bullying by Mayor Parker that continues.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Michael Gryboski

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