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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Houston Demanding Pastors Turn Over Sermons About Homosexuality

    Faith
    The battle over a controversial equal rights ordinance is heating up in Houston, Texas, with revelations that the city has subpoenaed church sermons, among other documentation, from five local faith leaders.

    Officials have requested that these preachers deliver communications that have focused on homosexuality or the contentious equal rights ordinance, which these individuals have fervently opposed.

    The subpoenas, which were issued last month, seek, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

    Parker, a lesbian, is the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, as Religion News Services noted.

    The move comes as the city of Houston is defending itself against a lawsuit brought by local activists and pastors who are seeking the suspension of the controversial ordinance.

    The pastors who have had their sermons subpoenaed are not parties in the lawsuit, though they are part of a coalition of more than 400 preachers and churches in the Houston area who are opposed to portions of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.

    The ordinance, which passed in May, has been debated for months, as the new regulations would allow transgendered individuals to file complaints if they are denied restroom usage and would ban discrimination in both business and housing.

    In a city document produced earlier this year to explain the purpose of the ordinance, Houston officials argued that the city is desperately in need of increased protections based on both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

    “Houston is the only major metropolitan area in the country that does not prohibit discrimination in places of public accommodation. Additionally, there is no protection against discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” the rationale read. “Houston believes that all persons living in or visiting the city are entitled to be treated with equal dignity, respect and status and have the right to be free from discriminatory and unequal treatment.”

    After its passage, faith leaders decided to collect signatures to get the ordinance on a November ballot; they ended up with more than the 17,269 required names.

    But after the city examined the documentation to see if signatories were Houston residents and had signed relevant pages — requirements for petitioning — they subsequently rejected a substantial number of the signatures, derailing activists’ and pastors’ attempts to bring the ordinance to a public vote.

    Activists and faith leaders responded by suing the city, which is what, in turn, led officials to subpoena documents — including sermons — from some of the houses of worship linked to activists who have vocally opposed and worked against the ordinance.

    “City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” Erik Stanley, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal firm representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement released Monday. “In this case, they have embarked upon a witch-hunt, and we are asking the court to put a stop to it.”

    While some are decrying the government’s act as disturbing and problematic from a First Amendment perspective, city attorney Dave Feldman has a different take, telling KTRK-TV that he believes that the gathering of signatures at local churches makes examining sermons an entirely appropriate response.

    “If they choose to do this inside the church, choose to do this from the pulpit, then they open the door to the questions being asked,” he told the outlet.

    Feldman also said on a separate occasion, “If someone is speaking from the pulpit and it’s political speech, then it’s not going to be protected.”

    The plaintiffs in the case, which include local leaders and pastors, are now attempting to have the subpoenas thrown out.

    “For a city government to step into churches and ask pastors to turn in sermons, it’s gone too far. This is not what America, the nation is about,” Pastor Hernan Castano, a local leader who received a subpoena, told KTRK-TV.

    Castano is joined by other religious leaders — Dave Welch, Magda Hermide, Khanh Huynh and Steve Riggle — as targets of the city’s subpoena.

    The request for documentation is tied to a January district court date over the dispute. And, according to the Houston Chronicle, the city has no plans of backing away from its subpoenas.




    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news...se-5822800.php

    http://abc13.com/news/pastors-sermon...-fight/350929/

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014...ance-heats-up/
    Last edited by bklynboy68; 10.15.14 at 03:32 PM.
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    Time to get with the program and let people live their lives the way they want it. Gay marriage is soon to be legal in all 50 states. We're in 2014!
    Little Dreamer

  4. #4
    Eruption phast's Avatar
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    Maybe that is your program but it is certainly not mine. Wrong is wrong no matter the year.

  5. #5
    Eruption Naked Wake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phast View Post
    Maybe that is your program but it is certainly not mine. Wrong is wrong no matter the year.
    do you really care if people are gay or not? I mean, as long as they aren't hitting on you and pushing their junk in your face, what difference does it make to you?

    I mean, you're basically saying you'd rather these people be unhappy and going through life hating themselves and everyone in their lives because they're pretending to be something they're not, as opposed to living happy, healthy lives, giving back to the community etc.???

    I'm as heterosexual as they come, but come on. Let people be who they want to be so long as they aren't hurting anyone.

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    Actually, the fatass lesbian bitch can go straight to Hell. Her personal agenda is out of control. This stupid degenerate cunt wants free AIDS tests for everyone. What is that doing--- its attracting every queer in the country to come to Houston.
    People seem to believe these fags have rights but they are a sick plague on the city and the planet.
    May they all rot and burn in Hell !!!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

  7. #7
    Eruption phast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naked Wake View Post
    do you really care if people are gay or not? I mean, as long as they aren't hitting on you and pushing their junk in your face, what difference does it make to you?

    I mean, you're basically saying you'd rather these people be unhappy and going through life hating themselves and everyone in their lives because they're pretending to be something they're not, as opposed to living happy, healthy lives, giving back to the community etc.???

    I'm as heterosexual as they come, but come on. Let people be who they want to be so long as they aren't hurting anyone.

    So you want me to feel sorry for them because they have a perversion? Yeah, not going to happen. They are deviants who choose to do what they are doing.

  8. #8
    Eruption Naked Wake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phast View Post
    So you want me to feel sorry for them because they have a perversion? Yeah, not going to happen. They are deviants who choose to do what they are doing.
    I don't want you to feel sorry for anything. I'm asking what sort of impact they have on your day to day life that it actually gets you worked up about?

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    Time to get with the program and let people live their lives the way they want it. Gay marriage is soon to be legal in all 50 states. We're in 2014!
    Time to get with the program and realize that the Constitution has been with us for over 200 years and it protects religious liberty and freedom of speech. Who the hell does the city of Houston think they are? This is not Nazi Germany, this is America. And let's put the gay issue aside for a moment, do you realize that this mayor is also demanding that they turn over any sermons that mention her? You're ok with this? This is political intimidation pure and simple.
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    In my perfect world, an anti-gay marriage member of the religious right would be against gay marriage, but wouldn't be in favor of forcing their religious views upon all people, so they would recognize the constitutional limits of doing so.

    However, these subpoenas are completely over the top (and the city is already backing off of them). If the pastors used their non-profit status as a political tool, that's one thing. But asking for all sermons, including any that mention the mayor, is way too far. And now that there has been backlash, the mayor and others have backed off.

    And while I completely disagree with the religious right trying to outlaw gay marriage, I also completely disagree with the LGBT community's use of force upon people who don't believe in their lifestyle, whether it is a religious belief or not.

    One of the oldest arguments was that gay rights would not be an attack on any person's ability to practice their own religion. That has turned out not to be true. A gay person's "right" to a wedding photographer, wedding cake, and I guess virtually every product or service has been found to supercede an individual's right not to associate with things against their religion.

    Now, the local government in this case is trying to bully the religious regarding anything they say about the LGBT community.

    It's wrong on both sides.
    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 10.15.14 at 06:41 PM.

  11. #11
    Eruption phast's Avatar
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    See the above article for one reason. Persecution of my religion. Trying to brainwash everyone into thinking this perversion is right, good, and more people should be doing it. They teach that homosexuality is correct in schools. What has even happened to our society that someone can argue that it is good and right to be homosexual? People really have to be messed up to believe this.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    Attorney General Greg Abbott Asks Houston City Attorney to Withdraw Subpoenas Seeking Sermons, Other Documents from Houston-area Pastors


    AUSTIN -- Attorney General Abbott today asked that the Houston City Attorney to immediately withdraw the subpoenas sent last month to several Houston-area pastors seeking sermons, notes and other information. 

    In his letter to the city attorney, Attorney General Abbott said, "Whether you intend it to be so or not, your action is a direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment. The people of Houston and their religious leaders must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious affairs are beyond the reach of the government."

    Attorney General Abbott's letter to Houston City Attorney David Feldman
    October 15, 2014

    Mr. David Feldman

    City Attorney

    City of Houston

    900 Bagby, 4th Floor

    Houston, Texas 77002

    Dear Mr. Feldman:

    Your office has demanded that four Houston pastors hand over to the city government many of their private papers, including their sermons.  Whether you intend it to be so or not, your action is a direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment.  The people of Houston and their religious leaders must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious affairs are beyond the reach of the government.  Nothing short of an immediate reversal by your office will provide that security.  I call on you to withdraw the subpoenas without further delay.

    I recognize that the subpoenas arise from litigation related to a petition to repeal an ordinance adopted by the city council.  But the litigation discovery process is not a license for government officials to inquire into religious affairs.  Nor is your office's desire to vigorously support the ordinance any excuse for these subpoenas.  No matter what public policy is at stake, government officials must exercise the utmost care when our work touches on religious matters.  If we err, it must be on the side of preserving the autonomy of religious institutions and the liberty of religious believers.  Your aggressive and invasive subpoenas show no regard for the very serious First Amendment considerations at stake.

    A statement released by the Mayor's Office claims that the subpoenas were prepared by outside lawyers and that neither you nor Mayor Parker was aware of them before they were issued.  Nevertheless, these lawyers acted in the City's name, and you are responsible for their actions.  You should immediately instruct your lawyers to withdraw the City's subpoenas.  Religious institutions and their congregants should never have to worry that a government they disagree with will attempt to interfere in their religious affairs.  Instead of safeguarding that trust, you appear to have given some of the most powerful law firms in Houston free rein to harass and intimidate pastors who oppose City policy.  In good faith, I hope you merely failed to anticipate how inappropriately aggressive your lawyers would be.  Many, however, believe your actions reflect the city government's hostility to religious beliefs that do not align with city policies.

    I urge you to demonstrate the City's commitment to religious liberty and to true diversity of belief by unilaterally withdrawing these subpoenas immediately.  Your stated intention to wait for further court proceedings falls woefully short of the urgent action needed to reassure the people of Houston that their government respects their freedom of religion and does not punish those who oppose city policies on religious grounds.

    Sincerely,

    Greg Abbott

    Attorney General of Texas
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

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    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  13. #13
    Good Enough pickslide's Avatar
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    Quite obviously an abridgment of the 1st amendment. But since they've been confiscating our emails for years, this was inevitable...

    TK

  14. #14
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    Of all the 57 states, I never thought this kind of BS would happen in Texas.


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    It's only liberty.

 

 

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