Big Brother TX: Houston Demands Pastors Turn Over Sermon Notes Private Communications

By AWR Hawkins

Free Speech Freedom
Free Speech Freedom
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -( After decades of warnings on the right about liberal politicians threatening religious liberty, a Democratic mayor in Texas is now subpoenaing pastors to turn over their sermons.

Houston city officials are demanding that city pastors opposed to Houston's “Bathroom Bill”–“a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other's restrooms”–turn over sermon notes and “communications with church members” to ascertain which pastors have (or haven't) “opposed or criticized the city.”

The Houston City Council passed the “Bathroom Bill” in June and in July citizens of the city responded by collecting three times the number of signatures needed for a referendum to have the measure repealed. The Houston Chronicle reported that citizens gathered over 50,000 signatures for the referendum, where only 17,269 were needed to put it on the ballot.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)–a law firm for religious liberty–says the City Secretary then certified the petition, “but the Mayor and City Attorney defied the law and rejected the certification.”

As a result of the rejection, “initiative supporters filed a lawsuit”–Woodfill v. Parker–and the city responded by subpoenaing “a number of area pastors, demanding to see what they preach from the pulpit and to examine their communications with their church members and others concerning concerning the city council's actions.”

A chilling subpoena issued to Steve Riggle specifically lists his sermons as items required by law for him to turn over.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D)
Openly Gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D)

In response, ADF filed a motion to stop the “discovery requests” contained within the subpoenas. They describe the requests as “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”

The brief accompanying the motion states:

These requests, if allowed, will have a chilling effect on future citizens who might consider circulating referendum petitions because they are dissatisfied with ordinances passed by the City Council. Not only will the Nonparty Pastors be harmed if these discovery requests are allowed, but the people will suffer as well. The referendum process will become toxic and the People will be deprived of an important check on city government.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D), one of the first openly gay mayors in the U.S., married Kathy Hubbard in California in January.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America's Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA's Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected] You can find him on facebook at

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
ray hamptonWilliam Gary CrumpJ Smith Recent comment authors
Notify of
ray hampton
ray hampton

this is a violation of the separation of the church from the state

William Gary Crump
William Gary Crump

The mayor should be prosecuted for civil rights violations. To wit: 1st Amendment freedoms of speech and religion.

This lesbian mayor has an obvious conflict of interest. That should be plain as day to anyone with half an eye and half a brain.

People of her ilk always want to cry “separation of church and state” when trying to keep God out of government. That sword cuts the other way and keeps the government out of the church.

J Smith
J Smith

Texas needs to secede from the Union, deport all the leftist loons from California and the Northeast, and form it’s own Government in order to save itself from Democrat control/destruction. Sadly, I fear nothing short of an second American Civil War will become necessary in order to save the remainder of the United States from Progressive/Communist rule. Real Americans are becoming increasingly fed up with all this Liberal nonsense!