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.


  • How strange to accuse Parker of not upholding the Texas Constitution. She's expressing a desire to change the law, she's not performing same-sex marriages.

  • Why should he focus his efforts elsewhere? He is a Texas resident, is he not? The Mayor is able to voice out her views yet Christians are attacked for voicing out their beliefs. Pastor Riggle has a right as well.

  • Funny how the red light cameras are against texas state law to begin with yet this woman and her pedecessors broke that law with out batting an eye.
    With that thought then there should be concern that if they went ahead and ignored law before what says they won't do it again.

  • I'm not surprised nor would I praise Pastor Riggle for writing Major Parker, his is conservative, she is liberal, he is a Republican, she is a Democrat. One side will always write to the other side with no change, no advancement to be made. For either side to advance, an election must be held and each side is given equal opportunities to voice their own opinion and we all vote. That happened, twice, the majority of Houston have sided with Major Parker. How many people voted for Pastor Riggle? How much of Houston (not Houston's money) supports Pastor Riggle? If you are calling for someone to step down, you had better be ready to fill the void, I don't think Pastor Riggle could take the pay cut to be mayor of Houston.

    Side note, do an image search for Steve Riggle.

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