When you think of the land of the brave and the home of the free, do you think about pastors submitting their sermons to the mayor for advance approval?
That's exactly what was scheduled to happen just days ago in Houston. Mayor Annise Parker, Houston's first openly-gay mayor, supported an ordinance that makes illegal any sort of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public facilities and private employment. However, a byproduct of this code would allow men to use women's restrooms.
Many conservatives didn't like this, and five particular pastors fought against it. These five pastors were told by city officials, as reported in this Christian Post article, that they must turn in their sermons in advance, lest they contain negative content about homosexuality, the ordinance, or the mayor's sexuality.
The government censorship proved to be controversial enough that conservatives and liberals across the nation banded together against the order.
In response to the criticism, Parker dropped the subpoenas for the sermons in a press conference on Wednesday.
"After much contemplation and discussion," said Parker, "I am directing the city legal department to withdraw the subpoenas issued to the five Houston pastors who delivered the petitions, the anti-HERO petitions, to the city of Houston and who indicated that they were responsible for the overall petition effort."
Do you think the pastors' freedom of speech was violated by the subpoenas? Would love to hear your thoughts!