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Trick or Retreat? Houston Mayor Reconsiders Subpoenas

By Tony Perkins

Houston’s launched plenty of things over the years – but controversy seems to be its specialty these days. Houston Mayor Annise Parker has certainly put the city on the map where religious intolerance is concerned. In a morning press conference, the center of a nationwide First Amendment firestorm says the city council is withdrawing the church subpoenas because she “doesn’t want to have a national debate about the freedom of religion.”

Parker stunned Americans last month with her demand for the private communications of certain Houston pastors — none of whom were involved in the litigation over the city’s radical new “bathroom bill.” Now, she’s trying to dodge the controversy by pulling back on her PR eyesore and focusing on the suit at hand. But, as FRC has said all along, the Mayor’s motivation was never about the pastors’ sermons or speeches, it was about political intimidation.

And that continues. Despite this latest move, Annise Parker is still denying citizens a chance to vote on Houston’s unfair special rights ordinance that discriminates against religion and endangers locals by declaring that public bathrooms can’t be limited on the basis of a person’s biological sex. Even after gathering over 50,000 signed petitions to put the issue on the ballot, Mayor Parker is still refusing to give Houston a vote. Americans have to wake up and recognize this for what it is: radical totalitarianism — the kind that follows the radical redefinition of marriage.

This growing effort by government officials to advance sexual expression at the expense of religious freedom is exactly what FRC will be exposing this Sunday, November 2 at a special I Stand Sunday simulcast at Houston’s Grace Community Church. At 6 p.m. (CT), thousands of Christians across the country will join a jam-packed line-up of speakers, including Al and Phil Robertson, Governor Mike Huckabee, the Benham Brothers, Fox News’s Todd Starnes, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Dr. Ronnie Floyd, the city’s persecuted pastors, and many others.

Don’t miss the chance to link arms with fellow believers around America in speaking out for our most fundamental rights. More than 2,500 churches and home groups have signed up to watch. To sign up your church or for more details, click over to

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)


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