December 13, 2009

Houston Elects Out Lesbian Mayor

Congratulations to Annise Parker, the new Mayor-Elect of Houston.  While the fact she is an out lesbian is historic in nature, lets hope that fades over time and she is better known for her accomplishments in office.  Here is a report by the Dallas Voice:

Annise Parker was elected mayor of Houston Saturday night, Dec. 12, with 53 percent of the votes cast in the runoff election that saw turnout of only about 16.5 percent.

The win makes her the first openly gay or lesbian person elected mayor in one of the country's 10 largest cities. With a population of more than about 2,245,000, Houston is the nation's fourth-largest city.

Parker and Gene Locke virtually tied the early voting. But on Election Day, Parker had a large get-out-the-vote organization that made the difference in the final tally, and her campaign workers remained confident of victory throughout the evening.

Dennis Dison, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund that had backed Parker, was ecstatic about the win after the recent defeat of the marriage law in Maine, the New York Senate not passing marriage equality and the New Jersey Senate postponing a vote on same-sex marriage.

“This has been a bittersweet year for LGBT Americans,” Dison said Saturday night. “It’s nice to be able to smile this broadly.”

Paul Scott, executive director of Equality Texas, suggested that Parker’s win shows that voters care more about a candidate’s qualifications than about the candidate’s sexual orientation.

“I think tonight shows that despite the negative attacks, Houston voters were able to elect the most qualified candidate,” Scott said. “We try to remind people that it’s qualifications that count. This is proof that the divisive issues projected in this campaign won’t work.”

Despite the importance many LGBT politicos had placed on her race,
Parker had avoided talking about her sexual orientation throughout the campaign without making any effort to hide the fact that she is a lesbian. Instead, the candidate insisted on keeping the focus on the issues she said are important to Houston and its residents.

Click here to read the rest of the report.

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