City of Houston demands that pastors hand over all sermons on homosexuality

Houston's openly gay mayor, Annise Parker
Houston’s openly gay mayor, Annise Parker

Fox News has the story and the backstory, too.


The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”

ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”

“Political and social commentary is not a crime,” Holcomb said. “It is protected by the First Amendment.”

The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over the Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa.  The city council approved the law in June.

The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.

The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.

“City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” said ADF attorney Erik Stanley.  “This is designed to intimidate pastors.”

Mayor Parker will not explain why she wants to inspect the sermons.

Why is it that people on the secular left are so comfortable with bringing in the government to threaten, intimidate and coerce those who disagree with them? Could it be that they know that what they are doing is morally wrong, and have to force others to celebrate it so their guilty consciences will be appeased? After all, you don’t see chaste people marching around in pride parades, or demanding government force people to celebrate chastity. We know we are right, and opposition to chastity doesn’t bother us. Our consciences are clean.

Well, the ADF is on this Houston case, and that’s a good thing. Seems like anywhere Christians are under attack, the ADF is there to defend us. If you want to keep up with this story, I recommend subscribing to the Alliance Defending Freedom podcast and the Family Research Council Daily and Weekly podcasts.


16 thoughts on “City of Houston demands that pastors hand over all sermons on homosexuality”

  1. I think they should all do a series on Romans 1 and send her every single sermon.

    Romans 1:26–27 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.


  2. If ever there were a case for civil disobedience, this is it. The ordinance and subpoena are so blatantly unconstitutional that any amount obeisance will encourage these little Stalins to do more even if they later lose in court.

    Also, I sincerely hope that ADF pursues this case personally against the officials who are behind this. Nothing will stop these people if they can use tax payer funds to defend their power grabs and pay off any penalties. They must be held personally responsible.


      1. Oddly enough, the separation of church and state was only supposed to work in one direction, but the progressives have completely reversed that direction. They first pretended the separation had to go both ways, until people gave in and believed it and kept the church out of public life. Now they’re not even pretending to try to protect religious liberty or the freedom of the church from state coercion.


  3. Wow, what a story of unconstitutional progressive oppression, truly worthy of the worst totalitarian regimes of the modern era.

    “…After all, you don’t see chaste people marching around in pride parades, or demanding government force people to celebrate chastity.”

    So true. And yet, ironically, in our culture it’s the citizens who live out lives of chastity, modesty, and chivalry that are the true persecuted minority who most need recognition and defense of their basic human rights.


    1. Yes, the conservative Christians are the ones being persecuted in today’s modern society, yet we’re the quiet ones who don’t fuss about every little inconvenience and slight. We don’t even make noise about things we should be making a big deal about. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, they say. Maybe we should start making a lot more noise. It’s pitiful that a tiny minority of activists can make enough noise and complain enough that the majority of the country honestly thinks they’re being targeted and discriminated against while so many conservative Christians are being persecuted for their faith and they’re still somehow portrayed as the bad guys.


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