Texas Pastors who where hit with subpoenas during their fight against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, dubbed “HERO” by the city’s first openly gay mayor, sent a letter to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant thanking him for signing a religious liberty bill. They, and other pastors from the Texas Pastor Council, also encouraged him to “stay the course.”
During the Houston “bathroom ordinance” fight, five of these pastors were subpoenaed for seventeen categories of information including sermon materials and communications to congregants, including emails, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Texas Ted Cruz called the subpoenas of the pastors a “grotesque abuse of power” by the municipality at the time and said the action was “both shocking and shameful.”
On Tuesday, the Republican Governor in Mississippi, Phil Bryant, signed a “Religious Liberty” bill that protects religious groups and some private businesses when they refuse to provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, as reported by the AP and Breitbart News.
Gov. Bryant issued a statement that he signed the bill because he wanted to protect “sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations and private associations from discriminatory action by state government or its political subdivisions.”
As in Texas, large state and local business associations and large corporations have fought for LGBT rights and against religious liberty in Mississippi. Other states and cities are engaging in the same fight.
Gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker called the campaign against her pet ordinance a “calculated campaign of lies” and blamed area pastors and their messages from the pulpits of churches across the city for the ordinance’s defeat, as reported by Breitbart Texas’ Bob Price. The bathroom ordinance measure was rejected by a vote of 61 percent to 39 percent. President of Texas Values, Jonathan M. Saenz said at the time that “Millions of dollars pouring in from national LGBT extremists, an out-of-control Mayor, and a sustained media onslaught could not overcome the tireless efforts of Houston pastors and people of faith standing for common sense, safety, and liberty.”
Just last week, Breitbart Texas reported that a California man dressed as a woman was busted for videoing in the ladies restroom. The man was wearing women’s clothing and was in a Macy’s store women’s bathroom.
After the defeat, losers in the Houston “bathroom ordinance” election said they were going to boycott Houston’s economy and asked the NFL to move the Super Bowl, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Houston has been named as the site of the 2017 Super Bowl. The NFL refused to move the Super Bowl from Houston.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory recently signed a law that limits the restroom options for transgenders and prohibits cities in the state from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances, as reported by Breitbart News. It becomes law on July 1.
Breitbart News also reported that Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a similar religious objections bill last week after Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and other huge companies opposed the measure, and national sports organizations threatened to not hold big events there. Also reported was that PayPal announced that it was cancelling a major expansion in North Carolina. South Dakota’s governor has also vetoed a similar measure that limited the bathroom options for transgender people.
Other cities in Texas, including Dallas, have passed ordinances similar to the ordinance defeated in Houston. Houston area pastors and the Texas Pastor Council are largely to be credited with the defeat of the HERO ordinance.
The First Amendment and religious liberty has been under assault in Texas, and the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee held a hearing and took testimony in February to begin to look at potential solutions to propose during the 2017 legislative session, as reported by Breitbart Texas.