Dr. Jack Graham opens the pastor briefing and encourages pastoral leadership
Texas Pastor Council organized and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano hosted an Emergency Plano Pastor Briefing on December 17 to launch a referendum petition drive similar to the one in Houston, in response to the LGBT “Equal Rights” policy passed by Plano City Council on December 8. Even with less than a week’s notice, over eighty pastors and community leaders attended the briefing that was moderated by State Representative-elect Matt Shaheen (who is also a member of Prestonwood).
Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor of Prestonwood opened the meeting with full support of the effort, calling the city’s rapid vote (same night as the first hearing) “doing business in darkness”. He expressed appreciation for TXPC Executive Director Dave Welch taking the initiative to organize the pastor meeting as well as the stand of the Houston pastors.
Jeff Mateer of Liberty Institute gave a legal analysis of why the Plano ordinance and others like it are a direct offense against First Amendments of religious belief, expression and “free exercise”. Dave Welch then closed the meeting with the “how to” of the referendum petition process. He explained that since Plano and Houston City Charter requirements for qualifying a referendum are nearly identical, the critical steps of signature gathering and having notarized are likewise the same so they could benefit from our experience.
The Plano City Attorney has interpreted the 30 day signature gathering window to begin on November 18 (final publication of the ordinance) and end on January 20, needing 3822 valid signatures to meet the minimum requirements. The “Plano Equal Rights For All” petition is underway and we urge our pastors and leaders statewide to be praying for their effort to be wildly successful – the wonderful turnout at the pastors’ briefing was a great indication of the commitment of the Plano team to stand as one for God’s righteousness and justice!
To follow their effort keep checking the TXPC/USPC website or the project website at www.planoequalrights.com!