Thursday, October 16, 2014

Houston HERO links

To go with the "Houston we have a problem" post above, here are links to some things available online related to the Houston "HERO" ordinance.

* A Draft of Houston's HERO ordinance -- Makes it "unlawful for any place of public intentionally discriminate against any person on the basis of any protected characteristic..." Protected characteristics include "gender identity," which means own gender identification, "although the same may not correspond to the individual's body or gender assigned at birth."
* Annise Parker Has a Discrimination Issue -- "If opposition to the ordinance is a matter of partisan politics, wouldn’t promotion and approval of the ordinance by implication also qualify as an example of partisan politics?"
An example of City of Houston subpoena request in Woodfill v. Parker
* Attorney General Greg Abbott Asks Houston City Attorney to Withdraw Subpoenas Seeking Sermons, Other Documents from Houston-area Pastors -- "If we err, it must be on the side of preserving the autonomy of religious institutions and the liberty of religious believers.  Your aggressive and invasive subpoenas show no regard for the very serious First Amendment considerations at stake."
* City subpoenas pastors' sermons in equal rights ordinance case -- "City attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case's discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, "all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession."
* Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons in equal rights ordinance case, prompting outcry -- "The ordinance, which exempted religious institutions, was passed in June, though its implementation has been delayed due to legal complaints."
* Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons -- "Attorneys for several Houston pastors are challenging the city’s attempts to subpoena their sermons as part of a lawsuit against the recently passed transgender-rights law, also known as the 'bathroom bill'."
* Is it constitutional for a court to enforce a subpoena of ministers’ sermons? -- "In principle, I don’t think there’s a First Amendment bar to subpoenaing the text (or video or audio recordings) of sermons, if they are sufficiently relevant to a case or an investigation...But all this presupposes that the information in the subpoenaed sermons really is substantially relevant to a case or an investigation."
* Memorandum in Support of Nonparty Pastors’ Amended Motion To Quash Subpoenas to Produce Documents or Tangible Evidence Or Otherwise Issue a Protective Order
* Pastors to mayor: Don’t mess with Texas pulpits -- "But City Attorney David Feldman told me that doesn’t matter. He said in an interview Tuesday that the five pastors were actively involved in leading the fight against the Bathroom Bill and launching the petition drive."

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