Annise Parker Becomes Houston’s First Open Gay Mayor

The 14th Controller of the City of Houston has won the run-off elections for the mayoralty position. She will also become the city’s first openly gay mayor.

annise-parkerAnnise Parker, who lives with her partner for the last 19 years and has two adopted children, defeated fellow Democrat and former city attorney Gene Locke at the required run-off elections with 53.6% of the votes. She actually won the regular elections but was not able to meet more than 50% votes to make it binding. Her term starts January 2, 2010.

Gay marriages are banned in Texas. Other cities with openly gay mayors are Portland, Oregon and Providence, Rhode Island. However, Houston will be the largest city to gain that status. It is the fourth largest city by population in the United States. Outside the US, Paris and Berlin have gay mayors.

Being open, the conservatives and anti-gay supporters gave an intense campaign against her. But Parker never shied away with that fact. “I have always stood up for the fact that I am gay. It’s part of the resume that I bring to the table, but it’s just a piece of the package,” she said.