Friday, Oct 18, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 17 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 42
Houston plays hardball with anti-Gay pastors President Bill Clinton will deliver the keynote address
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
Houston plays hardball with anti-Gay pastors President Bill Clinton will deliver the keynote address

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Attorneys for the City of Houston have subpoenaed copies of sermons delivered by anti-Gay pastors to determine if they violated federal tax laws by taking a position in the ongoing controversy over the city's new LGBT rights ordinances.

The subpoenas demanded 'all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.'

HERO, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, was passed in May this year, and adds protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to Houston's civil rights laws. Opponents tried to file a petition to put the measure up for a referendum, but Houston City Attorney David Feldman ruled that the petitions were invalid.

The issue is still under litigation.

Targets of the legal action were high-profile pastors and religious leaders who have called for repeal of the ordinance. The anti-Gay Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion on behalf of the pastors seeking to quash the subpoenas.

Predictably, right-wing news media threw a fit over the City's legal action. Fox News reported 'City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons,' while World Net daily claimed 'Houston demands oversight of sermons.'

Houston's Lesbian Mayor, Annise Parker said she was not aware of the subpoenas until October 13, a month after they were issued, because the documents were prepared by private attorneys working pro bono on the City's behalf.

Parker said she believes the subpoenas were overly broad, and Feldman said he will move to narrow the scope of the legal investigation to statements related to the referendum petition alone.

The legal issue at stake is whether the pastors violated their tax-exempt status by advocating for a ballot measure.

The Johnson Amendment, passed by Congress in 1954, forbids 501(c) organizations - a category which includes most churches - from intervening in political campaigns. The City of Houston wants the text of the sermons to determine if they violated this law by telling parishioners to sign the petition against HERO.

While most right-wing Christians are accusing Houston's city administration of 'homofascism,' Christian Reconstructionist Joel McDurmon wrote a cautionary piece on his American Vision website.

'There is no doubt that the Mayor and City Council are radical and aggressive LGBT activists trying to advance their agenda against all morality and the will of the people in the actual subject matter behind these headlines,' McDurmon wrote. 'But the actual case does not warrant these alarming headlines, and our activists ought to be more responsible.

'The City is not making a move to monitor sermons,' McDurmon continued. 'The City is merely responding to a lawsuit against it and using standard powers of discovery in regard to a handful of pastors who are implicated as relevant to the lawsuit. The issue is here: once you file a lawsuit, you open up yourself and potentially your friends and acquaintances to discovery. This is the aspect that has not been reported, but it is an important part of the context. This is basic court procedure. But the headlines make it sound like a surprise attack by leftists advancing their agenda on unsuspecting Christians.'

For a number of years right-wing Christian churches have participated in an annual event called Pulpit Freedom Sunday in which pastors openly violate the Johnson Amendment. The event was expressly created in order to goad the federal government into finally charging somebody so that the law could be challenged on First Amendment grounds.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Federal judge hears marriage equality case in Wyoming
------------------------------
Seattle/King County Clinic with Remote Area MedicalĀ® sponsors state's largest FREE health services event at Seattle Center's KeyArena October 23-26
------------------------------
Despite recent shooting on Capitol Hill, progress being made
------------------------------
Orgullo Latin@ LGBTQ Pride Festival a tremendous success
------------------------------
SML Elects Leather Daddy 2015
------------------------------
Senior Services offers a one-day training on October 24: 'Improving Aging Services for LGBTQ Elders'
------------------------------
No marriage for you! North Carolina magistrate says Governor vows to uphold equality
------------------------------
Murray and Cantwell urge Obama to appoint LGBT Rights envoy
------------------------------
HealthFest offers health and wellness options for individuals and their families
------------------------------
Pope still Catholic: Vatican walks back nice words about Gays
------------------------------
Irish marriage referendum: polls predict likely landslide
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2014 - DigitalTeamWorks 2014

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News