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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Staff Editorial

Pastor attacks mayor for view on gay marriage

Steve Riggle, the pastor of Houston’s Grace Community Church, wrote Mayor Annise Parker an email on Feb. 24 that attacked her over her vocal support of marriage equality.

On Sunday, he read that email to the 15,000 members of his congregation. In the email, Riggle attacked Parker for her support of marriage equality at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C. this January.

“While you are certainly entitled to your personal views and lifestyle that does not embrace traditional marriage (even if I happen to disagree with those views and I do), it is very disturbing to me when you make statements as an elected official that are contrary to what the people have decided should be the foundational values and definitions that define our culture,” wrote Riggle in the email.

“Respectfully, if you cannot uphold the Texas Constitution, then you should do the honorable thing and step down.”

In reality, Parker gave no indication at the convention that she would not uphold the Texas Constitution.

While at the conference, Parker told the Houston Chronicle that marriage equality is “an issue whose time has come.”

However, Parker told the Chronicle that any changes to the State’s Defense of Marriage Act or the city’s voter-approved amendment banning same-sex couples from collecting domestic partner benefits needs “to come from the community.”

She said that the changes “are going to have to be something that is important to the citizens of Texas and the citizens of Houston who want to step up.”

Parker has made it quite clear that, while her views on marriage equality might be opposed to the Texas Constitution, she will follow that constitution until Texas voters decide to change it.

Riggle should respect Parker’s constitutional right to express her views on the issue and focus his efforts elsewhere — like preparing his church to host the Harris County Republican Party’s convention in April.

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