Annise Parker | Evangelical Christians | Evangelicals | Gay Marriage | Houston | News | Steve Riggle | Texas

Houston Pastor Calls on Mayor Annise Parker to Step Down for Support of Same-Sex Marriage

Houston Pastor Steve Riggle, who has been on a crusade against Mayor Annise Parker since she took office, and last year spearheaded a coalition of clergy demanding that she rescind a sweeping non-discrimination order protecting LGBT people, used his megachurch pulpit over the weekend to demand that she step down over her decision to join dozens of other U.S. mayors in Freedom to Marry's national campaign calling for marriage equality.

RiggleThe Houston Chronicle reports:

Speaking at the congregation's 10 a.m. service, Riggle promised some 3,000 worshippers "the shortest sermon that has ever been preached in this congregation." After reading 25 Bible versions of the Genesis account of marriage as a man "leaving his father and mother and being joined to his wife," Riggle spent the next 50 minutes reading a letter he wrote to Parker last week, summarizing her response and then reading a new letter he has written to the mayor.

Parker responded with a statement:

"Houston is a city supportive of equal rights and tolerant of opposing opinions – a city where individuals may disagree with one another without being personal," said Parker. "I am standing with 160 mayors, including other Texas mayors, who have taken the same public position.My focus remains on creating jobs and building a safer city."

The paper adds that Riggle received "numerous ovations" for his attacks on Parker.

He said that he was not anti-gay nor a "gay-hater," noting that he had prayed with gay people dying of AIDS. "Just because I disagree with the life style choices that people make does not mean that I hate the people who make those choices," Riggle said, as his listeners responded with applause.

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  1. Rule to sound like you're anti-gay #1: call being gay a "life style."

    Posted by: Mona | Mar 6, 2012 6:00:51 PM

  2. The more I speak out against it the less likely I will be it...

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 6, 2012 6:05:12 PM

  3. He's not a gay-hater he's just an overpaid, self-righteous ignorant bigot and happy to stay that way.

    Posted by: rayrayj | Mar 6, 2012 6:15:36 PM

  4. How can someone with so much verbalized hatred and judgement of gay people still consider themselves not anti-gay or a gay hater? It doesn't make any sense.
    How anyone can sit in an audience and listen to this idiot for an hour deserves his ignorance,stupidity and bigotry.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Mar 6, 2012 6:19:26 PM

  5. Lifestyle and choices....When did he choose to be straight or do we have another Haggert in the making. Quoting from a 5000 year old document that nobody knows who wrote. Another witchdoctor preacher who needs some more money.

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 6, 2012 6:19:43 PM

  6. Another high water mark moment for the Lone Star state-
    Why does God hate Texas Revun-huh? He must-
    he brought the drought to you. Must be all that self-righteous, hate-filled virtriol from the very messengers of his fairytale--
    who knew?

    Posted by: nick | Mar 6, 2012 6:28:24 PM

  7. Jesus calls to ask pastor to stop making Him sound like a complete fu****g @ssh0le

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 6, 2012 6:32:29 PM

  8. I'm with SFSHAWN. I just don't understand how this man can possibly think that he is not anti-gay. Can someone please explain to me the mental gymnastics that goes into that thought process. I mean, there are things that I'm against (such as the existence of Rush Limbaugh, for example) and I fully recognise that I am anti-Rush Limbaugh. How can he not recognise that he IS, in fact, anti-gay?

    Posted by: kit | Mar 6, 2012 6:34:53 PM

  9. Tax his cult

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 6, 2012 6:35:49 PM

  10. I wish the mayor would have used more forceful words in a denunciation of such a Radical Religious extremist. The pastor WAS being personal in his hate of Gay folk. She said nothing to the effect of having "American Values" one of which is equality under the law. Gay folk really need to get smarter in this fight. WE HAVE AMERICAN VALUES and FAMILY VALUES. Why don't more Gay folk say that? The mayor stood her ground which is great. She has courage.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Mar 6, 2012 6:43:38 PM

  11. a religious bigot, from texas. will wonders never cease?

    Posted by: kodiak | Mar 6, 2012 6:45:09 PM

  12. Also, somebody needs to say it: MAJOR GAY-FACE.

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Mar 6, 2012 7:00:06 PM

  13. Someone should really look into revoking his church's tax-exempt status.

    Posted by: madmonkey | Mar 6, 2012 7:07:38 PM

  14. i don't hate gay people--I love and pray with gay people but it's okay with me if you discriminate against 'em or beat the krap out of 'em.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Mar 6, 2012 7:07:47 PM

  15. He may not be as dumb as he sounds. This sort of publicity probably gets big donations from people like the G. W. and his brother, the KKK, and lots of old peole that fell for the Christian dogma when it was what the peer group of their time and the continuing capitalist preaching like Garner Ted and Robertson and the rest of that ilk do. Capitalism knows no morals or ethics and this as a basis of his campaign makes more sense and does not have any confusion about it.

    Posted by: JayCee | Mar 6, 2012 7:13:06 PM

  16. "...noting that he had prayed with gay people dying of AIDS"

    Names, please.

    How much you want to bet Mr. Holier-Than-Sane is a great big liar?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Mar 6, 2012 7:13:08 PM

  17. Sure, I'll step down because some idiot "pastor" said so. Lol.

    Posted by: Max | Mar 6, 2012 7:44:36 PM

  18. "...noting that he had prayed with gay people dying of AIDS"

    Ahh, slick move on his part - to the fundie crowd listening to that, the 'Gay = AIDS = Deathstyle' meme was reinforced.

    Mayor Parker's response was measured and correct. Had she pushed any harder, Riggle would have expertly spun it into a personal attack against his 'faith' and how his 'dialog' attempt had been met with anger.

    Of course we know his attacks were personal - Mayor Parker *cannot* marry in the state of Texas, and he knows it.

    Posted by: Ozymandias71 | Mar 6, 2012 7:48:24 PM

  19. No, you don't hate the people, you just want to make their lives as miserable as possible. You also want to stoke resentment and possible violence against a sitting elected mayor for her personal opinion.

    Posted by: Rance | Mar 6, 2012 7:59:14 PM

  20. Resign? Well if you feel THAT strongly about it then of course... not.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Mar 6, 2012 8:38:56 PM

  21. I actually grew up going to this church in Houston. And I can say that after I left to go to college I never looked back! At the time their motto was "Come as you are, you'll be loved." It was the biggest load of horse manure, more like "Come as you are, and we'll change you into who we think you should be." Pastor Riggle was the most unapproachable person in ministry I have ever known. My guess is that donations are down and they needed to pay for a new building or helicopter or something like that.

    Posted by: Keelai | Mar 6, 2012 8:48:37 PM

  22. Toggle you can threaten all you want in theend you will lose...

    Posted by: wyocowboy | Mar 6, 2012 9:18:24 PM

  23. " the fundie crowd listening to that, the 'Gay = AIDS = Deathstyle' meme was reinforced."

    My thoughts, exactly.
    I came out 18 years ago and have lived in a mainly-gay neighborhood for most of the years since then. Thousands of aquaintances I have met since then as well as many of my tightest social circles are gay. And to my knowledge, I have never known anyone who had AIDS, let alone died of it. Most of my gay friends live a lifestyle much healthier than the average American does.

    It seems that in the social circles of fundamentalist pastors, gay people always lead sad lives, cheating on opposite-sex spouses, taking drugs to dull the pain, sneaking around and lying to themselves and others, and then dead at an early age.

    Does it never occur to them that it doesn't have to be that way, and that maybe the reason that a disprportionate number of the gays in their congregation end up having such horrible lives is that an ignorant and cynical family, church and social circle drives them to unhealthy lives?

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 6, 2012 9:28:46 PM

  24. Used his pulpit? is he STOOPID? you can't be a 501c3 organization and partake in partisan politics - using the pulpit as your message delivery station is a gross violation. if he was turned in or a complaint was registered, he would be in danger of losing his tax exempt status for his church...

    Posted by: pdxblueyesxblueyespx | Mar 6, 2012 9:52:15 PM

  25. Typical Christian. Can't handle that you are losing your undeserved power, and now you want a respectable official to resign. I'm sorry, but when I see a spade, or in this case, a typical sleazoid, duplicitious, hate-mongering Christian, I call it such. That fits you to a T, Riggle. Your futile aggression will fall, as it has against others your filthy cult has attacked.

    Posted by: Sarm | Mar 7, 2012 12:08:18 AM

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