Last week, the pastor of a 15,000 member mega church in Houston, Texas is called on Mayor Annise Parker (D) to resign over her promotion of same-sex marriage. In an email to the openly gay lawmaker, Pastor Steve Riggle of Grace Community Church wrote, “Respectfully, if you cannot uphold the Texas constitution, then you should do the honorable thing and step down,” noting that the Constitution includes a a “voter-approved amendment banning same-sex marriage.”
Over the weekend, Riggle took his advocacy a step further, speaking out against Parker from the stand at Grace Community Church during Sunday services:
“Let all of those who believe that marriage ought to be defined and God defines it, as one man and one woman, stand up once and for all, declare we are on the side that God has declared,” said Pastor Riggle.
In the presence of 3,000 worshipers, the pastor discussed the letter he sent to Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
“A week ago Friday, I sent this letter to Mayor Parker. While we continue to pray for you, we will not support your actions or let you redefine what has always been the definition of marriage,” said Riggle. [...] “76 percent of the people of Texas and 72 percent of Harris County approved of what I respectfully asked you to do, as the Mayor of Houston, Texas, stand with the expressed will of the people and the constitution of Texas on definition of marriage,” said Riggle.
Parker — is one of the 90 mayors to support Freedom To Marry’s equality initiative — and 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.”
Riggle is also asking Houston City Council “to declare where they stand on traditional marriage; he says the people of Houston have a right to know.”