The mayor of Houston, TX, has withdrawn subpoenas she issued to a group of local pastors demanding copies of their sermons and other communication in which they may have expressed their political views.
Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing the five pastors, says the subpoenas should never have been served in the first place.
“The entire nation – voices from every point of the spectrum left to right – recognize the city’s actions as a gross abuse of power,” says ADF senior legal counsel Erik Stanley. “We are gratified that the First Amendment rights of the pastors have triumphed over government overreach and intimidation.”
According to a Houston Chronicle report, the mayor met with local and national pastors – and that those meetings persuaded her to withdraw the legal notices.
ADF says the actions of Mayor Annise D. Parker were just one part of the city’s push to impose a “deeply unpopular” ordinance on citizens at any cost.
Stanley explains: “The scandal began with another abuse of power when the city of Houston arbitrarily threw out the valid signatures of thousands of voters” in opposition to the ordinance. “… The city should now do the right thing and allow the people of Houston to decide whether to repeal the ordinance.”
The citizen-led petition drive seeks to reverse a so-called “bathroom bill” passed by the Houston City Council that favors homosexuals and the transgendered.
By Jodi Brown