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Houston pastor wants Mayor Parker to shut up about marriage equality

Parker also says Obama should 'evolve faster'
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HOUSTON — A high profile Houston pastor wants openly lesbian mayor Annise Parker to resign, or stop “promoting” the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Steve Riggle, pastor of the 15,000 member Grace Community Church, wrote in an email to Parker on Friday, “Respectfully, if you cannot uphold the Texas constitution, then you should do the honorable thing and step down,” reported the Houston Chronicle.

Annise Parker

Parker is a co-chairperson of “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry,” a bipartisan coalition of more than 80 mayors from across the U.S. who have publicly stated their support for marriage equality for LGBT citizens, and their intention to work toward that goal.

Riggle asserts that Parker’s role in the coalition violates “the very constitution you were swearing to uphold.”

In response, Parker said “I do my duty to uphold the state Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. I swore an oath to that. I take that oath very seriously, but I have my First Amendment rights to free speech.”

“We all have the right to do that and I’m sorry that they (Riggle and his supporters) don’t understand the Constitution,” Parker said.

Parker has also said that President Barack “needs to evolve a little bit faster and is not clearly where I think he ought to be” on the issue of marriage equality.

In an interview with Michelangelo Signorile on SiriusXM radio, Parker said she agrees with activists who are pushing the Democratic National Committee to include marriage equality in this year’s party platform.

Riggle has also objected to a city memo that identified Parker’s long-term partner, Kathy Hubbard, as the “first lady” of Houston, calling the distinction “deeply disturbing.”

Parker was elected Mayor of Houston, the fourth largest U.S. city, in 2009; she was elected to a second term in November 2011. Parker and Hubbard have been together since 1990 and have three children.

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23 more reader comments:

  1. Not everyone who talks of God is good, and not everyone who is good talks of God.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:38pm
  2. Revoke the church’s tax exempt status. Then pastor can get involved in politics

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:39pm
  3. It’s contrary to my beliefs to try to exalt Christianity as having some sort of preferential status in the United States. That violates the Constitution.” Jimmy Carter, Christianity Today, March 2, 1998

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:39pm
  4. Did I miss something, but where in the Constitution does it say anything about same sex marriage?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:43pm
  5. The mayor should tell the douche bag in the robe to shut his mouth and go back to gettin with the alter boys…………. hypocrate.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:46pm
  6. I wish someone would tell these religious leaders to shut up. Enough already.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:49pm
  7. When did it start takin place that church an state are NOT seperate. This is stupid! She is ok as mayor only if she keeps her mouth shut!?! Get real!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:49pm
  8. Mayor Parker is an awesome human being…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:50pm
  9. If we stop acknowledging diversity, maybe it will go away! Great plan.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:53pm
  10. I think pastors should keep their religion and their beliefs within the walls of their churches and shut up about state and federal government, so there!! LOL

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:56pm
  11. How about that pastor shuts the hell up and instead tends to its flock spiritual needs instead of getting involved in politics

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:56pm
  12. they need to mind their own business and personal affairs and stop trying to worry about what other people are doing, this is not medieval times so they just need to get use to the fact that people of the LGBT community deserves equal rights just like everyone else, people who hate, deny rights and target people because they are different makes me utterly sick, some of these very religious people need to stop hating so damn much and start loving for once.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 6:00pm
  13. yah shut up already…would ya? I got some boy-molesting I gotta attend to.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 6:04pm
  14. He’s a dirt bag

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 6:10pm
  15. hhahahha what an idiot. just stop ok just stop promoting peace and love god what wrong with you! LOL

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 6:21pm
  16. they are voilating our rights. this a supposely a free country. well i think tht marriage should be consider to be a part of our 1st comendment. we all been through love, we know what love is. most of u r heartless parasites tht get fed lies by those around u and too blind to see wht really goes on around us. why dont u leave the gays alone n worry about ur love life n whtt not. if two gays cant love each other like us striaght can thn us striaht ppl shouldnt love either. apparently to most ppl love is a sin.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 6:21pm
  17. this is a page i created for my school, to show all those who are being bullied that differences are good. by liking this page, you are prooving to all those bullies that they have no RIGHT to tell us who and how to be. help send hope to all those in need of it. love is louder :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 6:32pm
  18. why are people liking this story on the lgbtq website? am i missing something?religious feelings should stay in religion and not in politics!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 6:44pm
  19. I bet they wouldn’t do that to a straight person promoting same sex marraige.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 6:49pm
  20. The pastor needs to piss off and stay out of politics. Or maybe he wants to start paying taxes?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 7:35pm
  21. it used to be illegal in Texas until just a few decades ago for a preacher to be a politician.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 8:24pm
  22. the preacher needs to STFU

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 8:48pm
  23. Everyone that feels this way needs to vote every chance and get more liberals in office that will speak out against the religious bigots and shut them down.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 9:03pm