|For Immediate Release
October 15, 2014
Manassas, VA– NRB is deeply troubled that the City of Houston would attempt to compel local pastors to turn over church sermons or else potentially face fines or imprisonment.
“This inquisition by the City of Houston is unconstitutional,” declared Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB. “The government has no right to intimidate pastors in the pulpit, or, quite frankly, to squelch anyone’s free religious expression and free speech. Period.”
The City of Houston’s subpoena, stirred by its legal defense of the controversial “Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO)” adopted by the City this year, requires an expansive list of communications from five pastors not party to a lawsuit against the ordinance. Of note, item 12 in this subpoena demands that these pastors produce “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.”
“The First Amendment was enacted to protect pre-existing freedoms of religion and speech, known by our nation’s Founders to be gifts from God,” continued Dr. Johnson. “I pray that Houston city officials respect the First Amendment, remember their liberty-loving Texas roots, and abandon this dangerous path.”
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. NRB 2015 will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, February 23-26, 2015. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.
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