HOUSTON (Christian Examiner)—Christians across America will gather in Houston Nov. 2 with Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins, Phil Robertson, Todd Starnes, and others, for "I Stand Sunday" in support of five area pastors issued subpoenas by the City of Houston to demand the pastors' private correspondence and "speeches."
Family Research Council will host a rally at Grace Church in Houston, Texas, where founding Senior Pastor Steve Riggle, one of the "Houston Five," is scheduled to speak on living out faith "free of government intrusion or monitoring."
"We will stand with pastors and churches in Houston, Texas who have been unduly intimidated by the city's Mayor in demanding they hand over private church communication," reads an FRC web page.
The investigation of the pastors is related to a controversial gay-rights ordinance passed with the support of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, an openly lesbian official, earlier this year, and a citizen petition signed by 55,000—calling for the matter to be placed on the November ballot—but subsequently thrown out by city attorneys for "irregularities."
A lawsuit filed by other pastors has put the City of Houston at odds with those opposing both the ordinance and the city's invalidation of the petitions.
David and Jason Benham, co-founders of Benham Companies; Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Alan Robertson, Duck Dynasty; and Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America, will join Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas; Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty; and Starnes, a host of FOX News and Commentary and Contributor of Fox & Friends in speaking at the event.
Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said in the release that Mayor Parker "has been on quite a fishing expedition—but it's her power that needs to be reeled in."
"In a country still burning over the IRS's crackdown, Parker's missive became the subpoena heard 'round the world," Perkins said. "Fed up with this administration's heavy-handedness, Houston has become a rallying cry for freedom-loving Americans tired of seeing their laws and liberties casually tossed aside in a liberal stampede."
Perkins said he believes the mayor isn't seeking information, but trying to control it. Even then, he said, she has a long ways to go.
"Every pastor I've spoken to would go to jail before surrendering their God-given rights to preach the [T]ruth," Perkins said.
Family Research Council will offer a free live simulcast for host churches. For more information go to the iStand website.