Texas attorney general calls for drop of subpoenas

HOUSTON, Texas (TAB, BP) — Religious liberty is again at stake as five pastors in Texas, who are part of a petition standing against Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), have been subpoenaed to submit their sermons. But Attorney General Greg Abbott called to have them withdrawn Oct. 16 because they are “aggressive and invasive subpoenas” that show “no regard for the very serious First Amendment considerations at stake.” HERO was passed in May and gives protected status to individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, but churches are supposed to be exempt from the law. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian, championed the ordinance saying its passage was deeply personal. Included among the 17 categories of requested material in the subpoena is “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.”

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About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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