Houston Elects Its First Openly Gay Mayor

By Liza Doubossarskaia, NOW Communications Intern

This weekend brought good news for women and members of the LGBT community. On Dec. 12 Annise Parker, an out lesbian, was elected mayor of Huston, Texas. She is the first openly gay person elected to govern a city with a population of over 1,000,000 residents. Parker also is the second woman to be elected mayor of Houston.

In 1986, Parker served as a president of Houston’s LGBT Political Caucus, and in 1997 Parker won the run-off election for Houston City Council, thus becoming Houston’s first openly gay elected official. Parker is in a committed relationship with her partner of 19 years, Kathy Hubbard, and the couple has three adopted children.

Parker’s successful run for mayor is especially significant due to the fact that just a few years ago Houston rejected a referendum to offer benefits to same-sex partners of city workers and same-sex marriage is against the law in Texas. Parker acknowledged her milestone victory with the following words: “Tonight the voters of Houston have opened the door to history….I know what this win means to many of us who never thought we could achieve high office.”

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