By Bob Unruh, WND Faith.
The openly lesbian mayor of Houston who created a national furor by allowing subpoenas to be issued by the city for the sermons of several area Christian pastors has been named defendant in a lawsuit by some of those same pastors who are alleging civil-rights violations.
“Each plaintiff brings this civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. [Paragraph] 1983 for defendant [Mayor Annise] Parker’s wrongful actions under color of state law depriving each of them of procedural and substantive due process under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as to vindicate their liberty interests under the Bill of Rights and Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the complaint, filed Monday in Harris County District Court, says.
The fight is over a transgender ordinance Parker pushed through the city council more than a year ago. Some members of the Houston Area Pastor Council and other pastors formed an alliance to collect signatures to force the city either to overturn the ordinance or allow voters to have their say.
Although the city secretary certified enough signatures had been turned in, the mayor and city attorney manipulated the results to avoid allowing a popular vote.
Eventually the state Supreme Court stepped into the fight, during which time the city had subpoenaed the pastors’ sermons, and called a halt. The justices ordered the council to either repeal or put to a popular vote the ordinance, which had drawn strong opposition for opening ladies’ public restrooms and locker rooms to men who claimed they were women.
“If the city council does not repeal the ordinance by August 24, 2015, then by that date the city council must order that the ordinance be put to popular vote during the November 2015 election,” the ruling said.
The court also suspended any enforcement of the ordinance.