After initially defending the bizarre subpoena demanding Houston pastors hand over all sermons and pastoral communication related to homosexuality, gender-identity, Houston’s mayor, and Houston’s “nondiscrimination” ordinance, city officials admitted their requests were overly-broad and needed to be narrowed.

Last Friday, Houston officials amended their request: They no longer want pastors’ sermons. Now they just want pastors’ “speeches.”

As Todd Starnes writes, “I don’t mean to point out the obvious here – but what do those attorneys think a sermon is? It’s a speech.”

To be fair, the amended subpoena filed by the city’s lawyers strikes the request for any and all sermons related to homosexuality, gender-identity, and the city’s mayor. However, the subpoena still demands, “all speeches or presentations” regarding the city ordinance and the effort to repeal the ordinance, and the subpoena still insists ministers turn over 16 other types of documents besides their sermons–including pastoral communications with church members.

And, as we wrote last week, the subpoena is directed at five ministers who are not even part of the lawsuit over the city ordinance.

At this point it seems the City of Houston is simply playing word games. They want to go after some of the pastors who opposed the city’s ordinance, and they’re hijacking the judicial system to do it.

You can read the city’s original subpoena here.

You can read the city’s amendment to the subpoena here.