Thursday, October 23, 2014

Houston Pastor Subpoenas Show Consequences

Houston Pastor Subpoenas Show Consequences of Electing Candidates to Office Who Do Not Share Your Va


For Immediate Release|
October 23, 2014


Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096,


Houston Pastor Subpoenas Show Consequences of Electing Candidates to Office Who Do Not Share Your Values

PFOX – 'Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays':
Pastor Subpoenas in Texas a Powerful Reminder to Vote with Values on November 4

RICHMOND, Va.—A heated debate is raging in Houston after a homosexual activist mayor and city attorneys subpoenaed pastors' sermon notes and church conversations dealing with homosexuality, transgenderism or the mayor herself.

The subpoenas stem from an issue last spring, when Mayor Annise Parker and two homosexual city council members spearheaded a non-discrimination ordinance that gives special rights and protections to homosexuals. The "bathroom bill," called the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), granted "equal rights" to gay and transgender individuals so that men could use women's restrooms and vice versa. HERO passed in June, despite vocal opposition from the Houston community.

The headlines, says Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX,, a non-profit organization serving ex-gays and families with a homosexual loved one, are a powerful reminder for Americans to vote for candidates who share their values in the upcoming election on November 4.

"This situation is a grave reminder that Americans must take seriously our right, privilege and duty of voting with our values at heart," said PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs. "The people of Houston were concerned and feared for the safety of their citizens as a result of an ordinance pushed through by the vocal homosexual and transgendered community —an ordinance that the public needed to weigh in on. So these concerned citizens organized and collected 50,000 signatures so the issue could be put in front of voters in the true democratic progress. But representative democracy did not prevail, and the people were silenced as the petition was thrown out. Then, adding insult to injury, pastors were called before the government because some of the petitioners had signed the petition within church walls—which is absolutely legal.

"This a clear example of why we must vote for and elect candidates who share our values—this is why we vote for a particular candidate. It may not be feasible to elect candidates who do not hold your same values; in doing so you give up your voice. Voters, keep this question in mind when you head to the ballot box on November 4."

After HERO was passed, Houston citizens collected more than 50,000 petition signatures—well over double the number needed to put the issue before voters. Under Parker's leadership, however, the city council rejected the petition on a technicality, citing alleged irregularities in the petition. Now, as the city and Parker's administration fight a lawsuit associated with the ordinance, attorneys for the City of Houston sent five pastors subpoenas, demanding they turn over sermon notes and private communications with church members.

Mayor Parker has conceded that the subpoenas may have been 'overly broad,' and on Friday, the word "sermon" was removed from the list of materials being demanded, but the subpoenas remain.

PFOX is a national non-profit organization that supports families and educates the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX supports an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals by conducting public education and outreach to further individual self-determination and respect for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. 

PFOX believes that every person seeking positive life change needs and deserves the love and support of friends, family, the community and the church and strives to offer a place for help, a place for truth, and a place for the ex-gay to participate in the conversation about same-sex attraction. PFOX families love their homosexual child unconditionally, believing that true love is granted in spite of our differences by treating each other with kindness and respect. Each year, thousands of men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to leave a gay identity through gender-affirming programs, including counseling, support groups, faith-based ministries and other non-judgmental environments. 

For more information on PFOX, visit or email

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to support families and educate the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community.


To interview PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs or another representative from PFOX, contact Deborah Hamilton at, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096.

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