Annise Parker | Elections | Houston | Michael Goff | Texas

Houston Becomes Largest US City to Elect Openly Gay Mayor

After a runoff campaign that got extremely homophobic and nasty near the end, Houston voters tonight have chosen an out lesbian, Annise Parker, as their mayor. 

Houston Chronicle reports:Park  

Here's the bottom line, or maybe the punch line:

In Houston, it is now harder for a lawyer to be elected mayor than a lesbian.

In the last two weeks of the hard-fought campaign, several mailings — one of them funded to the tune of $40,000 by candidate Gene Locke's finance chairman and another finance committee member — urged voters to choose Locke because Annise Parker is a lesbian.

Parker hit back with two tough mailings attacking Locke for his history as a lawyer and a lobbyist.

The first on one side repeated line after line of what it called: “The three words Houston taxpayers dread most: Lawyer. Lobbyist. Locke.”

More at:  --Victory Fund which supported her in the past six races for city council and city controller

--Dallas Voice, which declared her winner a little earlier.

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  1. woot!


    great news :)

    Posted by: steve | Dec 13, 2009 1:28:39 AM

  2. I think it's GREAT!

    But in a way, it is a sad reflection on today's 21st Century society that a person's sexuality, even race, would still be a major factor in a country that promotes itself as the "land of the free and home of the brave".

    Posted by: CB | Dec 13, 2009 2:05:37 AM

  3. May the best person win... oh... she did! Awesome!

    Posted by: graphicjack | Dec 13, 2009 2:34:25 AM

  4. Give it a fucking rest CB.

    This is a great accomplishment. Congratulations Mayor Parker and to the citizens and City of Houston; you've blown away some nasty stereotypes.

    Funny: I have a beat up old t-shirt that says in bold letters 'Houston,TX' with a big outline of the State of Texas on the front. I wear it because it's simply well worn and real comfortable. A couple of weeks ago I was wearing this in the company of some alleged radical 'Progressives' (mostly woman)and man! The dirty looks! I guess they were equating it with Texas, George Bush, et al., LOL! I will make a point of proudly wearing my Houston t shirt now just to see who I can irritate and piss off

    Posted by: John in Boston | Dec 13, 2009 2:53:56 AM

  5. I don't really care about your t-shirt choices, John in Boston, but going around in life just to irritate and piss off people is kind of sad.

    But I'm glad that Parker won.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 13, 2009 4:02:40 AM

  6. Paul R...Please don't temp that asshat John In Boston....We don't need any race baiting from that bastard on this post.

    Congratulations Mayor Parker and PLEASE do the job the city elected you to do!

    Posted by: Mike In Manhattan | Dec 13, 2009 4:07:15 AM

  7. Three late, great Texas women are smiling....

    First, the great orator and stateswoman...and Houston native...Barbara Jordan who, sadly, went to her grave feeling she could never publicly talk about being gay and the woman she loved for over two decades, Nancy Earl. I hope Ms. Earl is still living and smiling, too, and perhaps saying to herself, "Oh, Barbara, you shoulda been here tonight!"

    Then, humorist with a tongue of steel and a heart of gold, Molly Ivins...raised in Houston...and a frequent defender of the LGBT community.

    Finally, the great Ann Richards who had the Texas governorship stolen from her by the Rove-Bush Gang spreading rumors she was gay as Karlotta Rove perfected her queer-baiting political tactics that she'd started while still in college in order to win the presidency of the College Young Republicans [beating publicly closeted gay Terry Dolan who would go on to destroy the political careers of several pro-gay US Senators before he died of AIDS which his family was humiliated by and tried to cover up].

    Brava Ms. Parker! These great Texas women would be mighty proud of you for, as Molly and Ann would probably say, "kickin' ass"...and LGBTs everywhere are mighty proud of you, too!!!!

    Posted by: Michael @ | Dec 13, 2009 4:20:21 AM

  8. Paul R: FUCK U.

    Mike in Manhattan: I'd say shove it up your ass but you undoubtedly already do, and enjoy it.

    At least I back up what I say with undemiable facts, not my feelings or ideological propaganda that nobody with a fucking brain and experience believes. Jesus I HATE obnoxious PC faggots.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Dec 13, 2009 4:30:33 AM

  9. Hows that gay rights and gay marriage thing going on in NY, Mike in Manhattan? Clear that shit up yet? No? Why don't you worry your little fucking head with that, and the brutal gay bashings and violent street crimes that occur everyday (usually unreported) in your town, instead of obsessing over what John in Boston says?

    And I thought NYC (MY HOMETOWN and BIRTH-PLACE) was the coolest and most 'Hip' place in America, if not the world? And Manhattan! Sheeesh........beautiful people land. Soo much better than everyone else. Still can't get gay marriage or civil unions passed. Houston, in the middle of Bush Country, elected an openly gay mayor before tragically hip NY.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Dec 13, 2009 4:49:56 AM

  10. Andy, any way you could clean this thread up a bit? In what should be a celebratory and joyous moment, a few unnecessary off-topic comments are really raining on the parade.

    Posted by: sparks | Dec 13, 2009 5:23:46 AM

  11. ...whenever I see a story with more than a few comments...always turns out to be a back and forth between an asshat and others.

    Posted by: Qjersey | Dec 13, 2009 8:49:42 AM

  12. Congratulations Houston! A new day is coming!

    Posted by: hephaestion | Dec 13, 2009 8:59:54 AM

  13. This is great news. I was kind of shocked that the voter turnout was so small. The best part is knowing that Dr. Hotze (the man behind the anti-gay propaganda) is shitting himself right now. How will he sleep at night, knowing a lesbian is running the city? Sweet!

    Posted by: David in Houston | Dec 13, 2009 9:22:59 AM

  14. Congrats Annise and to the Victory Fund who worked so hard on her campaign! LGBT organization that gets results! Why do people still give to the HRC again?

    Posted by: Sharpie | Dec 13, 2009 10:19:49 AM

  15. Congratulations for Ms. Parker.

    Once again the homophobia coming from the African-American community is undeniable.

    Next: Vallejo!

    Posted by: GrabbinNewscum | Dec 13, 2009 10:34:58 AM

  16. @GrabbinNewscum and John in Boston

    You know, you two might want to can the overt racism until after that "straight, black homophobe" - Adrian Fenty - signs Washington DC's same-sex marriage bill into law next month. I mean, the place is only 55.6% black and has an African-American dominated city council. There's certainly no need to treat them with any respect, right?

    Or perhaps you might want to wait until every member of the Congressional Black Caucus votes for that ENDA you have been bitching about ever since Obama came into office. They voted as a single bloc for ENDA in 2007 and have pledged to do so again. This includes a surprising commitment from devout Muslim Keith Ellison (D-MN). And in a House vote that's expected to be 230-205, you certainly would lose without those 40 extra "straight, black homophobes."

    Posted by: John | Dec 13, 2009 12:22:03 PM

  17. John, There is a vast discrepacy between most elected African-American leaders - who by definition must build and create coalitions with other politicians in order to get their own pet projects and legislation passed ("you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours") and the wider electorate.

    The FACTS - which you may deny as much as you like but which doesn't change them one whit - is that when black voters go to the polls and get to speak out on gay rights issues, a majority of them vote against gay civil rights, and two-thirds of all African-Americans in public opinion polls consistently consider homosexuality to be immoral and/or disagree that gays should be given the right to marry each other.

    I appreciate the efforts of Mayor Fenty and other elected black leaders but the gulf between the black leadership and black electorate has been proven again and again.

    These are the facts. In your liberal cognitive dissonance you may choose to make of them what you please but that doesn't change the hard reality of the situation that it is a waste of time and money for the mostly white gay leadership to be going into black communities and begging for them to give us our civil rights, as much of a waste as it would to go into Mormon or white Christian evangelical or Orthodox Jewish communities.

    Posted by: GrabbinNewscum | Dec 13, 2009 1:00:01 PM

  18. Congrats to the Mayor-Elect...what an amazing feat!!

    Posted by: Arturo Beeche | Dec 13, 2009 1:26:32 PM

  19. @Grabby

    Then get yo' WHITE Christian folks (since white folks are sooooooooo much less homophobic than black folks) to stop funding and putting anti-gay measures on the ballots then you will not have to worry about ANY black person voting on gay civil rights.

    Problem solved...but we digress.

    And I do think that black voters in Detroit did put an openly gay man in as President of the Detroit City Council (hopefully, that'll be a Council and not a Clowncil as it's been for the past 25-40 years).

    But I digress.

    Congratulations to Annise Parker.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 13, 2009 2:03:13 PM

  20. Chitown Kev - In fact, based on public polling and voting results, white people ARE less homophobic. While around 50% of white people are opposed to gay marriage, 66% of black people are opposed. That is a statistically significant difference.

    As for funding and putting anti-gay measures on the ballot, no one is forcing people to vote FOR anti-gay ballot initiatives. I hold people - regardless of their race - responsible for their vote.

    What is truly racist are the people who want to absolve black people of their vote - thereby holding them to a different standard of responsibility than every other groups - or those who argue that black people are consistently "fooled" into voting for anti-gay measures by advertisements. Yet seemingly white voters - for example, the majority of whom voted AGAINST Prop 8 in California - are not also fooled by these ads, so the only logical conclusion is that you think black voters are more gullible or intelligent than white voters. How racist indeed.

    Posted by: GrabbinNewscum | Dec 13, 2009 3:23:40 PM

  21. Congratulations, Annise Parker! It's nice to know that the anti-gay fear-mongers don't always succeed.

    And why did this celebratory news turn into a thread on race? Oh, because JIB and his twin, GN, showed up. I think Chitown Kev's point, GN, is that the anti-gay power and $ are white. Without it, we wouldn't have Prop 8's and Question 1's to vote on. That doesn't absolve any anti-gay votes, black or white, but it matters. There are all kinds of ways to break down statistics, but as you're blaming black voters ad nauseam for their homophobia you can't leave out the (mostly white) Republicans, without whom we'd be much closer to equality.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 13, 2009 4:02:27 PM

  22. Grabby, I wholeheartedly agree with you (since I have to live with black homophobia far more than you do) but black people simply do not have the kind of power (or the will, for that matter) to put that stuff on the ballot. If it doen't make the ballot, it can't be voted on by anyone, period.

    And again, it's ALL about California, right?

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 13, 2009 4:28:16 PM

  23. You're right, Chitown Kev. Clearly white people are the devil and responsible for all the ills and dysfunctions of the African-American community - including homophobia.

    The contortions you take to resolve your liberal cognitive dissonance (black people are our supposed "allies" because we are both minorities yet a huge majority of them think we are immoral and vote against our civil rights) are amusing.

    Posted by: GrabbinNewscum | Dec 13, 2009 5:25:37 PM

  24. Talk about deliberately misconstruing what kevin said, scum. Or are you denying that poverty and ignorance that is the direct result of institutional bigotry is fertile breeding ground homophobia? And that's an explanation, not a justification--for there is none. Now how did this topic get derailed? Mike in manhattan...we're waiting for your apology.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 13, 2009 5:34:59 PM

  25. c'mon...chitownkev's one of the most reasonable regulars in the comments sections of gay blogs... Not because he agrees with me (he doesn't).

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 13, 2009 5:39:56 PM

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