Houston city controller Annise Parker won the mayoral runoff election on Saturday night, defeating opponent Gene Locke 53 percent to 47 percent and cinching her victory as the next mayor of the 4th-largest city in the United States (by population.)
And celebrating with Ms. Parker was her partner of 19 years, Kathy Hubbard, and their three adopted children.
This isn’t the first city in the United States to elect an openly gay or lesbian mayor. The cities of Providence RI, Portland OR, Casper WY, and Cambridge MA have all been helmed by “the gays.” Hell, even here in North Carolina there have been a couple of openly gay or lesbian mayors, in Carrboro, Frankinton, and in Chapel Hill.
But c’mon… This is TEXAS. The Lone Star State, where voters statewide have outlawed same-sex marriage. And even in Houston, the city in question that just elected a lesbian mayor, voters have refused a referendum that would have granted benefits to same-sex partners of city employees. So yes, her election is proving to be quite the cause for celebration.
It’s especially exciting because the predicable homophobic efforts failed. A group of black pastors had lashed out at Ms. Parker’s “gay agenda,” and two other people sent fliers to constituents highlighting her support from gay groups and her long-term relationship with her partner. Two members of Mr. Locke’s finance committee donated $40,000 to help finance one of those mailing efforts.
See there, people? That forty grand could’ve been used to combat homelessness, feed the hungry, or treat the sick. Instead, you blew it trying to point out something that was widely known: that this woman, with 11 years of service to the city of Houston, has a loving partner with whom she is raising three children.
It’s great to see that even in a conservative state like Texas, your ignorant bigotry isn’t enough to keep qualified, talented people from succeeding. At least, not this time.