Major U.S. city demands oversight of sermons
Oct. 13, 2014: Officials with the city of Houston, Texas, who defended a controversial ordinance that would allow men to use women’s restrooms, demanded to see the sermons preached by several area pastors.
The move came in a subpoena from the city to pastors for copies of their sermons and other communications in the city’s legal defense of a “non-discrimination” measure that allows “gender-confused” people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite sex.
A lawsuit challenging Houston’s move alleged the city violated its own charter in its adoption of the Equal Rights Ordinance, which designated homosexuals and transgender persons as a protected class.
Critics said the measure effectively enabled sexual predators who dress as women to enter female public bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities. A coalition of activists that included area pastors filed suit Aug. 6, 2014, against the city and lesbian Mayor Annise Parker after officials announced a voter petition to repeal the measure didn’t have enough signatures to qualify for the election ballot.
Parker, who acknowledged the ordinance is “all about me,” was legally married to her same-sex partner in California.
The mayor dropped her bid to subpoena the sermons at the end of October 2014, bot only after Americans deluged city hall with phone calls, letters, emails and hundreds of Bible and sermons.