BREAKING NEWS: Houston Mayor Annise Parker has now withdrawn the subpoenas to the pastors. 


An update this morning on the controversy in Houston that was sparked by a demand for five pastors to turn over their sermons and other correspondence.

The subpoenas from local officials to pastors came amid opposition to a city ordinance allowing transgender people to identify as the opposite gender.

In a fiery commentary on Mayor Annise Parker's actions, Mike Huckabee called for American pastors to show their opposition by sending her their sermons and a Bible.

"So, I've got an idea - if she wants some sermons, here's my suggestion. I'd like to ask every pastor in America, not just the ones in Houston, send her your sermons. Obviously, she could use a few. So, if you're a pastor, send them to her. And here's another thought, everybody watching the show ought to send her a Bible. That's right, everybody. I hope she gets thousands and thousands of sermons and Bibles," said the former governor on Oct. 20. 

Well, now the mayor's office has said that it has gotten between 500-1,000 Bibles and that they will be distributed to churches.


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Parker later asked city attorneys to narrow the scope of the subpoenas, arguing they never wanted to see pastors' sermons.

She claimed that the subpoenas were a response to a lawsuit filed by opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).

More from KPRC in Houston:

The mayor said the city is seeking information from five pastors on all speeches or presentations related to HERO or the petition prepared by, delivered by, revised by or approved by them or in their possession, but not on their sermons.

"This is not about what anyone is preaching, this is not about religion, this is not about anyone exercising their religion... this is about the petition process," said Parker. "We don't want their sermons."

City attorney Dave Feldman said the request for information is a part of the discovery process for the lawsuit.

Opponents of the ordinance were hoping to get HERO repealed with a petition, but the city called the petition invalid after not enough signatures were gathered.

"This is a mayor who has waged a full-scale war on the churches in Harris County," said attorney Jared Woodfill, who is representing the pastors. "These pastors are standing up and saying enough is enough and we are not going to allow it to happen on our watch."

Attorneys for the pastors have filed a motion to quash the subpoenas. The anti-discrimination ordinance passed months ago has been the focus of protests from local pastors.

"Her recent antics is to go after pastors," Woodfill said. "Now remember, these are simply pastors who talked about the issue from the pulpit of the church."

 

Watch Huckabee's full remarks below, and don't miss "Huckabee" every Saturday at 8p ET.


WATCH: Houston Pastor Speaks Out on 'Hannity'

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