Texas Democrats haven’t won a statewide election in recent memory, and it’s becoming obvious why they have no hope in the future:
Earlier this year [Houston Mayor Annise] Parker, a Democrat, spearheaded the passage of an “Equal Rights Ordinance” (ERO) that added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the city’s non-discrimination provision, which includes, among other things, “public accommodations” — for example, restrooms. Citizens, among them church leaders, balked. They launched a referendum petition that, with the requisite 17,269 signatures, would require the city council to repeal the ERO, or to put the measure up for a vote. They obtained 55,000 signatures.
The city secretary, who has sole responsibility for certifying such petitions, signed off.
Enter Houston city attorney David Feldman, who, with no legal authority, disqualified 38,000 signatures. Names that were printed, rather than written in cursive, were discarded; names that were written in cursive were considered illegible — just enough names to get the petition below the 17,000-signature requirement, at which point the city council and Mayor Parker rejected it. And several citizens sued.
But the city’s shenanigans had only just begun. Unsatisfied with violating the rights of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the City of Houston has subpoenaed privileged communications of five pastors (none of them party to the lawsuit) who helped to organize the petition drive. Among other information, the city is requesting communications between the pastors and their attorneys pertaining to the ERO lawsuit, communications between the pastors and their congregants, and even the pastors’ sermons. . . .
You can read the whole thing and see how, in the post-Windsor era, Democrats have decided that “equality” automatically voids every right guaranteed by the First Amendment: Opposition to the radical agenda is now effectively illegal, according to the Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor decision as interpreted by Democrats. More details:
A subpoena on Pastor Steve Riggle, senior pastor of Grace Community Church, asks for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to [the equal rights ordinance], the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”
Alliance Defending Freedom, a national conservative legal group, filed a motion on Monday in Harris County district court objecting to the records request on First Amendment grounds.
“City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” ADF senior legal counsel Erik Stanley said. “In this case, they have embarked upon a witch-hunt, and we are asking the court to put a stop to it.”
This has legal ramifications far beyond Houston, and is by no means limited to the issue of same-sex marriage. What you see, if you look at this in a larger legal and cultural context, is that liberals have decided the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment trumps everything else in the Constitution or in Anglo-American common-law tradition, and that there is no protection whatsoever to those who oppose the “emerging awareness” doctrine proclaimed by the Supreme Court in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case.
— Bryan Preston (@texasbryanp) October 16, 2014
Question for @AnniseParker. Who is paying for the private firms the city has engaged in subpoenaing pastors?
— Bryan Preston (@texasbryanp) October 15, 2014
Christians in Texas are not going to surrender without a fight, and every Democrat in Texas ought to be held accountable for what radical Democrats led by Annise Parker are doing in Houston. Every Democrat in the state should be publicly challenged by Republicans either to endorse Mayor Parker’s extremist agenda, or else to denounce it. And every Texas Democrat who claims to oppose Mayor Parker’s agenda should then be called upon to condemn any Texas Democrat who supports Mayor Parker’s agenda. It is high time, you see, that “moderate Democrats” stop pretending to be moderates, because the Democrat Party is not a moderate party.
Mayor Parker’s radical agenda is the agenda of the Democrat Party, not only in Houston, not only in Texas, but everywhere. The sooner Democrats are forced to admit this, the sooner the American people can decide whether they want to follow the Democrat Party down this highway to hell that Democrats are paving at taxpayer expense.
First published at TheOtherMcCain.com
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.