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A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Annise Parker Wins Houston Mayoral Race

An historic win:  the Houston Chronicle is calling today's mayoral runoff election for Annise Parker, with a lead of 52.7 percent to opponent Jim Locke's 47.3 percent out of 145,000 votes cast, with 89 percent of precincts reported at this time.

The New York Times reports:
Throughout the campaign, Ms. Parker tried to avoid making an issue of her sexual orientation and emphasized her experience in overseeing the city’s finances. But she began her career as an advocate for gay rights in the 1980s, and it was lost on no one in Houston, a city of 2.2 million people, that her election would mark a milestone for gay men and lesbians around the country.

Several smaller cities in other regions have chosen openly gay mayors, among them Providence, R.I., Portland, Ore., and Cambridge, Mass. But Ms. Parker’s success came in a conservative state where voters have outlawed gay marriage and a city where a referendum on granting benefits to same-sex partners of city employees was soundly defeated. . . .

Ms. Parker’s sexual orientation did not become an issue in the race until after the general election produced no winner and led to a run-off between her and Mr. Locke, who is black and enjoys strong support among African-American voters. . . .

But the ugliest attacks came from a group of black pastors who spoke out against Ms. Parker for what they called her gay agenda and two separate anti-gay advocates who send out fliers in the mail calling attention to her support from gay groups and to her relationship with her longtime partner. (They have been together 19 years and have two adopted children.)

Mr. Locke denied having anything to do with the attacks, but two members of his finance committee gave $40,000 to help finance one of the mailings.
A gay mayor in Texas.  You guys who live in the blue state wonderland have no idea how incredible that sounds.  Wow.  Congrats, Annise - you done us proud, girl.

FYI:  for the benefit of all you furriners who may not know this stuff, Houston proper is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in Texas.  Population of the metro area is 5.7 million, although the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is larger, with 6.3 million.  They are the sixth- and fourth-largest metro areas in the country, respectively.  Total population of Texas:  about 22.8 million as of 2005.

And since I mentioned Alaska in a post yesterday, I'll tell you this too:  total population, 2008:  686,293. 

Hell, we got several counties with more people in 'em than that whole big state.  And Sarah couldn't manage to handle the job up there?


TomS said...

Here on our Classical Music Radio station in Chicago, we have heard several live broadcasts from the Houston Opera!

What a great story Russ! Also covered in Huffington Post...I might comment there too..

I love to visit here...thanks for your great journal.


FDeF said...

Congrats to Annise and to the state of Texas! It is through this kind of visibility and service that we dispel the fear and hatred of ignorant people and encourage the support of reasonable folk.

Sebastian said...

Congratulations to Texas and Texans! It is this sort of progress on a local level that really is significant.

Russ Manley said...

On behalf of Texas, thanks guys.

And you're right, the important thing for gay politicians is getting on with the job, and doing it well. Just as it was for blacks, just as it was for women . . . and so on. Eventually, it gets to be a non-issue.

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