The pastor of a 15,000 member mega church in Houston, Texas is calling on Mayor Annise Parker (D) to resign over her promotion of same-sex marriage, the Houston Chronicle reports. In an email to the openly gay lawmaker, Pastor Steve Riggle of Grace Community Church writes, “Respectfully, if you cannot uphold the Texas constitution, then you should do the honorable thing and step down” and notes that the Constitution includes a a “voter-approved amendment banning same-sex marriage.”
Parker — who is one of the 90 mayors to support Freedom To Marry’s equality initiative — has responded to the pastor by saying, ”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.” Watch a local news segment on the story:
During a recent interview with SiriusXM’s Michelangelo Signorile, Parker also called on President Obama to evolve “faster” on marriage equality and argued that “the Democratic platform should promote same-sex marriage.”
Meanwhile, the website for Grace Community Church states, “Marriage is between one man and one woman. Any other definition of marriage is contrary to the clear teachings of the Holy Bible and hence against the expressed will of God,” and Riggle himself has long opposed Parker’s inclusive policies. In 2010, he condemned the mayor’s executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, warning that women could be assaulted by cross-dressing men. “Forcing women in particular using city facilities to be subjected to cross-dressing men invading their privacy is beyond the pale and offensive to every standard of decency,” he said.