Local Pastor Asks Mayor To Resign

flickr image taken by Ed Schipul
Houston Mayor Annise Parker says there's really nothing she can do to appease a local pastor's group that says she's too outspoken in her support of gay marriage.

Dr. Steve Riggle leads the 15,000 member Grace Community Church here in Houston and wrote Mayor Parker a letter expressing his concern about her views on gay marriage. Riggle wasn't available for comment, but in the letter, he pointed out that Parker is an elected official and has no business supporting something that isn't backed by the state constitution.  

Parker says she's not concerned about what was said in the letter.

"Every big-city mayor in America has taken the very same position and I don't see these guys calling for those mayors to resign. This has to do with whatever their personal animus to me and I don't let it distract me and I'm going to just keep going. I have the right to talk about the things that I think are important to this city just as he has a right to disagree with me."

Riggle is part of the leadership group with the Houston chapter of the Texas Pastor Council. That group's local director is Dave Welch, who says the Mayor is the one picking the fight.

"Our choice really is to acquiesce to her positions or to respond publicly. She's the one who made a public issue again by her participation in a national conference, as well as her actions downtown and at the County Clerk's office with an activist group. If she doesn't want this to be an issue of constant debate, then she should abide by the will of the people and quit, as it were, putting her thumb in the eye of the voters and the citizens who believe in this."

Welch says Riggle's views are supported by other local pastors in the group, who don't think the Mayor should be publically supporting gay marriage.

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Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...