Elections

Rand Paul Takes Sides On Local Religious Liberty Dispute

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Casey Harper Contributor

Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul took a stand on a local religious dispute to show his support for religious liberty at the Republican debate Thursday.

Paul spoke out against Houston mayor Annise Parker who came under fire for issuing a subpoena for the sermons of local pastors after a political battle broke out over a LGBT ordinance in the city.

“When the government tries to invade the church to force its own opinion on marriage that’s when it’s time to resist,” Paul said during the debate. “If people have a religious opinion that is heartly felt obviously they should be allowed to practice that and no government should interfere with them.”

The ordinance that sparked the dispute banned businesses that serve the public from discriminating against gay or transgender people.

Conservative activists say that the new rule would be used to allow men who identify as women to enter women’s restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa for women who identify as men.

After the ordinance was passed in May of 2014, conservative activists tried to get a repeal vote on the issue, but the mayor and other city officials refused to allow the repeal vote, saying the activists did not obtain enough signatures. This eventually went to the courts, which ruled in favor of conservatives.

The court instructed the city to either repeal the measure or allow the city to vote on the repeal.

“The legislative power reserved to the people of Houston is not being honored,” reads the court’s opinion.

It is worth noting that the court did not rule against the ordinance for LGBT people, only that the city was obligated to put the measure up for a vote or repeal it outright.

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