The fight between Houston’s lesbian mayor, Annise Parker and the city’s Christians and conservatives continues.
After ramming an ordinance through the city council that gave LGBT people special privileges, including allowing gender confused men to use women’s bathrooms, showers and locker rooms; she launched an attack against those who opposed her. A number of Christian pastors and conservatives filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the ordinance from being enacted until they could launch a petition drive to force a public vote on the ordinance.
In response to their legal challenge, Parker’s office issued subpoenas demanding copies of the sermons and correspondence of five of Houston’s Christian pastors. After receiving so much negative publicity and public outcry, Parker’s office withdrew the subpoenas, only to re-issue them a short later. The second subpoenas eliminated the request for copies of the sermons, but still demanded to see all correspondence between the pastors and their congregations.
In the meantime, the petition drive to gather signatures was quite successful. They gathered 55,000 signatures, which is three times the minimum number needed to place the measure on the ballot.
According to sworn testimony from Anna Russell, the city secretary for more than 40 years, she validated the signatures and declared that the petitions met the minimum requirements. However, an attorney for Parker has filed a brief with the Texas Supreme Court claiming that the drive to put the measure on the ballot has no claim in court because the petitions were never validated. The brief states:
“Because the city secretary did not validate the referendum petition, the second step of the referendum processes – the city council’s ‘immediate’ reconsideration of the ordinance or popular vote – was never triggered.”
Questioned by Andy Taylor, the attorney for the group behind the petition drive, Russell testified:
“That the [city] charter provides that the city secretary determine the number of qualified voters who sign the petition.”
Taylor then asked her:
“And based on that understanding, you did that; and the result of your work was that 17,846 signatures had been validated. And that was more than the minimum number necessary, correct?”
Russell also explained that in all her years as the city secretary, she has never had her validating duties interfered with by a city attorney. She performed her duties as she always has and that the scrutiny given to the petition was entirely the work of city attorney David Feldman.
Normally a case like this would need to go through the normal court process and a hearing has been scheduled for January. The state Supreme Court normally would not be involved until after lower courts make their ruling, but Taylor says that the city charter requires the petition be handled immediately and not drug out through a lengthy court process.
Stating that Mayor Parker and the city attorney should be ashamed of themselves for their actions, he stated:
“Our clients have a constitutional right of free speech, of freedom of religion, freedom to petition government for redress. It’s absolutely unbelievable that the mayor in her zeal to defend a ‘gay-lesbian’ ordinance would trample the voting rights of over a million people in Houston.”
Parker and her liberal cronies are just following the lawless example of Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. They will go to unimaginable lengths to push and defend their liberal, anti-Christian and anti-American agendas. They try to create and re-write their own laws and bully anyone that tries to stop them.
Hopefully, the Texas Supreme Court and perhaps State Attorney General Greg Abbott will step up and stop Parker’s discriminatory and privileged ordinance and preserved the First Amendment freedoms and rights of Houston’s citizens.