How liberals want to rule.

From CharismaNews:

Houston, We Still Have a Problem: Lesbian Mayor at It Again

Remember when Houston’s lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, tried to subpoena five pastors’ sermons in a case over the controversial transgender rights ordinance there? This same lesbian mayor is trying her level best to deny these pastors the right to a jury trial. She wants a “special master” to review the evidence. [Stalin would be impressed.]

Here’s the backstory, as Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) explains it: City officials got upset over a voter lawsuit filed after the City Council rejected valid petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other’s restrooms.

ADF attorneys jumped into the fray, contending the city illegitimately demanded that the pastors, who are not party to the lawsuit, turn over their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications simply so the city could see if the pastors have ever opposed or criticized the city.


But the story doesn’t end there. Fast forward to January and the drama is heating up again over the so-called bathroom bill. The City of Houston has filed several motions and is asking a Texas district court to deny pastors a jury hearing. That means a final decision on the bathroom bill would be in the hands of a single judge in what they are trying to classify as an election dispute. The pastors followed all the requirements and paid all the costs to hold a jury trial.


[Pastor Steve Riggle, who was one of the ministers subpoenaed, said in a statement to city council members…. […]

“The gay revolution will continue to overplay its hand. As those who were once bullied now bully others, this will produce an increasing backlash, as seen with the ‘Houston Five’ last year,” he wrote. “And as gay activists win more and more battles in the courts and the society, that will actually work against them, and their goals will continue to become more and more extreme.”


People think that these violations of freedom can’t happen where they live are deluded. Think of the Volksgerichtshof or Sondergericht, or the frenzied public special sessions of the Cultural Revolution. Extreme examples? Not really. And they weren’t than long ago.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. gramma10 says:

    How was she ever elected? Dumb question I guess, because we also have Obama.
    What a mess. Something is bound to happen when a normal person with Judeo Christian values has their child encounter this. Are there no people there to form a counter group rejecting this person’s laws?
    One would think there ought to be loud objections!
    What can we do? Huckabee is not in anymore. He got a lot of people to send bibles etc to her before.
    Someone needs to lead a counter action.
    “For evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing!”

  2. Andrew says:


    vladimir palko “die löwen kommen”

    “The lions are coming” – unfortunately not yet available in English.

  3. greenlight says:

    These stories are becoming far too common. As a fairly normal, law-abiding father of four, I’m forced to face the very real possibility that I may soon be looking at ruinous fines and possibly jail time just for standing up to some stupid unjust law. They’re going to make Thomas Mores of all of us.

  4. Gerard Plourde says:

    As a lawyer, perhaps I can shed some light on the term “special master”. This is an officer of the court whose roots are founded in English common law. A special master is appointed by a judge and only on consent of the parties to conduct fact-finding or to assess compliance with an existing Court order.

  5. NBW says:

    She needs some serious prayers.

  6. cpttom says:

    My wife is Chinese. My wife’s family, Catholic for 5 centuries survived the Chinese Revolution. They lost everything they had for the faith. Some were beaten by the secret police, others jailed for decades. When stuff like this happens my wife becomes convinced the persecution of Christians is coming.

    She looks at the US Church and our parish and she believes the leadership here is full of quislings who will “play ball” with the persecution as they did in China. The destruction of the Church in China was an inside job. Bishops, priests, and lay leaders who had skeletons in their closet were turned, others were sympathetic to the Communist cause. It could happen here. It isn’t that far of a stretch when you read about things like this going on in a major city like Houston.

    Stay safe and prepare. Both physically and spiritually. St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle!

  7. RomeontheRange says:

    Gerard Plourde: thank you very much. Most helpful.

  8. Titus says:

    The media’s lack of skill in reporting on legal matters is exceeded only by its lack of skill reporting on Catholicism. Indeed, it can be worse at times, because while religious media outlets often get religious news more or less right, their reporting (and to be frank, that of legal media outlets too) on legal issues often remains atrocious. The linked article contains almost no useful information. It certainly doesn’t permit one to assess whether any person is being or might be wrongfully deprived of a jury trial.

    Question One: what trial is even at issue here? It’s not, it seems, a proceeding based on the sermon subpoenas, since the article says (and I recall) that those were withdrawn.

    Question Two: Is this, then, the underlying trial on the issue of the legality of the ordinance and its repeal petition?

    Question Three: If so, why would there necessarily be a right to a jury trial? The principle issues sound like matters of law, not facts. The Seventh Amendment of the United States Constitution does not apply in state court proceedings. What does the Texas Constitution say about the right to a jury trial? Whatever it might say, I am confident that it does not guaranty a jury to any litigant, regardless of the nature or posture of the case, who makes a facially proper demand by the specified deadlines.

    At its heart, the article is recycled ire about the previous incident involving the subpoenas. There is no way to tell whether there is anything new that warrants ire. Certainly the mayor of Houston sounds like a rather terrible person. But that one’s lawyers file a motion to strike a jury demand does not make one a terrible person: it’s the sort of thing that all kinds of perfectly pleasant, normal people might do. Moreover, without better information about the posture of the case, one cannot even reach a conclusion about whether the request has merit (even people who are very wrong on the merits of an issue are sometimes right about incidental procedural matters). Should one be independently upset here? “Not enough information,” says the Magic 8 Ball.

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