…the latest story out of Houston will likewise do little to quell concerns that religious liberty and free speech are under serious attack. Earlier this year, the City Council passed a law regarding rights related to sexual and gender identity. Mayor Annise Parker has made support for this law — the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance — a major part of her administration. A petition drive to repeal the ordinance — with more than 50,000 signatures, and only 17,259 required — was disallowed by Parker and the city attorney. Some of the Houston citizens sued over the matter and the city responded by subpoenaing emails and sermons from five pastors who are not party to the lawsuit but were involved in the petition drive.
The public’s mostly negative response to the intimidation attempts seen in Houston was so pronounced that Parker now says she agrees with Alliance Defending Freedom that the subpoenas were overly broad. Heck, the whole thing’s so toxic that she’s even claiming she didn’t know about the subpoenas until shortly before she took to Twitter vigorously defending them. But don’t be surprised if these attacks on religious liberty and free speech don’t cause more people to question what we’re being forced to give up — and why — in exchange for expanding gay rights.