HOUSTON, Texas — After a long and drawn out battle between the City of Houston and local pastors about the equal rights ordinance, it looks like Mayor Annise Parker has had a change of heart.
“After much contemplation and discussion, I am directing the city legal department to withdraw the subpoenas issued to the five Houston pastors who delivered the petitions,” said Mayor Parker.
The sermons that interested the mayor and her legal team were those that dealt with homosexuality and the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as “HERO.”
“It was never our intention to interfere with any members of the clergy and their congregants in terms of sermons, in terms of preaching what they believe is the word of the God that they serve,” Parker said.
“HERO” was passed back in May. It extends discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Opponents submitted thousands of signatures on a petition to force a vote on the issue.
But the petition didn’t meet the requirements necessary to earn a spot on the ballot.
“I want to emphasize that the existing subpoenas which are focused solely on the actual collection of data for the petitions are legal and valid and appropriate.”
We’re sure to see more legal preaching as January approaches. That’s when the case against “HERO” is scheduled to go to court.