history Saturday as they elected. Parker defeated former city
attorney Gene Locke with 53.6 percent of the vote in a runoff
election. The two Democrats faced off for a second time because
neither emerged with more than 50 percent of the vote in the
November 3 election.After the mayoral race
entered a runoff, conservatives and anti-gay activists mounted an
intense campaign against Parker. Houston residents received flyers
in the mail that highlighted Parker’s support from gay groups and
her relationship with her partner.“There’s a certain segment of
Houston, there’s a certain segment of society that has problems
with the issues around sexual orientation,” Parker said. “But the
citizens of Houston have elected me six consecutive times to public
office. They know me, they trust me.”
Annise Parker has never shied
away from, nor made an issue of her sexual orientation. She has
been with her partner, Kathy Hubbard, for 19 years and they have
two adopted children.
“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
Parker’s victory is
remarkable because just a few years ago, Houston rejected a
referendum to offer benefits to same-sex partners of city workers.
Texas is also a state where marriage equality is against the law.
Parker is a true champion for LGBT families. By living her life
openly and sharing her story she has changed hearts and
Parker will take the oath of
office on January 1.