Houston, Texas Mayor Annise Parker said that the city would drop controversial subpoenas that asked five local pastors for copies of some of their sermons and communications. The city passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which provides protections to city’s gay and transgender community at the expense of Women. Led by some of the subpoenaed pastors, organizers collected signatures to try to repeal the ordinance through a referendum.
As The Washington Post explains, “supporters of the repeal reportedly gathered 50,000 signatures, well over the 17,269 needed for inclusion on the November ballot.” But the city threw out thousands of them, saying they were invalid, and that meant the question was removed from the ballots.
A group of Christians sued Houston and in response, the city issued subpoenas for the sermons and communications of five pastors that the city said could help prove their case in court.