Sen. Cruz calls withdrawn subpoenas a 'tremendous victory'

by Vanessa Rodriguez, |
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) delivers his remarks at the morning plenary session of the Values Voter Summit in Washington Sept. 26, 2014. | File Photo by REUTERS/Gary Cameron

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Christian Examiner) – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, released a statement yesterday declaring "a tremendous victory" for supporters of religious liberty after Houston Mayor Annise Parker appeared as a press conference to announce the city will withdraw subpoenas previously issued to five pastors.

Sen. Cruz also called the development, "An answer to prayer."

Last month, the City of Houston issued subpoenas to the five pastors demanding they turn over any sermons, notes or correspondence that discussed homosexuality, gender identity and the city's controversial Equal Rights Ordinance which grants certain rights to transgendered individuals.

The subpoenas drew criticism from both liberals and conservatives who agreed the mayor's request infringed upon the five pastors' First Amendment rights.

Cruz joined First Amendment supporters nationwide on the issue and even led the outcry against the violation of religious liberty while holding a news conference at his home church, Houston's First Baptist Church, Oct. 16.

"Americans defended our right to worship freely without fear of government intimidation, sending a message that was so loud and strong the City of Houston could not ignore it," Cruz said. "As always, I was proud to stand with the pastors, and I applaud their courage for speaking up, and drawing national attention to the ongoing attacks against people of faith. "

Parker, an openly lesbian public official, claimed withdrawing the subpoenas was in the best interest of the city.

"I didn't do this to satisfy them," she said about critics. "I did it because it was not serving Houston."

The pastors and their lawyers, have said, however, the issue still is not settled. 

Four of the five pastors are confirmed to speak Sunday, Nov. 2 at a 90-minute event in Houston, "I Stand Sunday," which will simulcast across the country. Family Research Counsel is sponsoring the event. For more information, go online.