Twitter allegedly blocked a new online campaign designed to support the Houston pastors who were subpoenaed by the city's lawyers demanding that they turn over their sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or the city's first openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker.
The #HoustonWeHaveAProblem campaign and petition were created by Faith Driven Consumer, the same organization that supported and helped to reinstate Phil Robertson to "Duck Dynasty" after he was thrown off the show for his comments about homosexuality surfaced from a GQ interview.
This latest campaign launched yesterday using the website HoustonProblem.com demands that the city of Houston "cease and desist all bullying and other offensive actions" against a group of pastors who are victims this harassment being perpetrated by the local government. Twitter blocked it minutes after the launch.
Dave Welch, who is the executive director of the Houston area U.S. Pastor Council, is one of the five pastors who received a subpoena.
"This was really initiated by Mayor Annise Parker, who is obviously a noted, kind of, poster child for the national gay and lesbian movement, proposing this ordinance back in April that was really a massive overreach to begin with to basically add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the city's discrimination ordinance and impose those discrimination protections over the private sector in an unprecedented way," Welch told The Christian Post.
The subpoenas were issued by Houston's city attorney in response to the lawsuit filed by opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance that allows men and women who identify as transgender or opposite sex to use the facilities, such as restrooms, of their choice.
"There is a deeply troubling pattern of censorship with social media companies when people of faith speak out. From Kirk Cameron, to Mike Huckabee, to our own #iStandWithPhil campaign earlier this year, faith voices have curiously been blocked during critical times as they seek to be heard," said Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer.
"We are asking Twitter to immediately unblock thousands of people who have already flocked to our petition and want to spread the word from coast to coast."
Parker, who has participated in both gay and atheist activism, and the city of Houston are now back peddling from the subpoenas and blaming it on the law firm they hired.
Faith Driven Consumer said the campaign is designed to remind everyone that "pastors have been at the very center of American society since even before the founding of it. It also stresses protection from the government on matters such as this from the First Amendment.
"Our First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion, which has made these significant accomplishments possible," read the petition. "If pastors had been silenced, if they had not been free to speak out on issues in our society, America would not be what it is today. In fact, America would not be."
Read full petition at HoustonProblem.com.