Sunday, December 13, 2009

Houston elects an openly gay mayor

"I know what this win means to many of us who never thought we could achieve high office."

Reuters oddly claims that Houston is the first "major" American city to elect an openly gay mayor. That seems like an unnecessary swipe at Portland, Oregon (which has a population the same size as Las Vegas) and Providence, Rhode Island (the capital of and most prominent city in its state).

If you want to describe this as something unprecedented, you could point out that Houston is the most populous American city to elect an openly gay mayor. But that's not saying much since the United States has only 3 cities with larger populations. The biggest news is that this happened in such a conservative city.

By the way, at least 3 cities outside the US have elected openly gay mayors: Paris, Hamburg, and Berlin. 

Near the end of the Houston race, anti-gay activists sent out mailers attacking Annise Parker (now the mayor-elect) for her "homosexual behavior." (What's with the anti-gay contingent's obsession with the word "homosexual"? They seem to use it as much as possible. Never "gay" -- always "homosexual.") The New York Times reports that Parker's opponent "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."

Anyway, this election is a relatively small step -- not nearly as important as actually changing the laws -- but still a step in the right direction. Some day, people won't even think to remark on this.


Meade said...

For most of the '90's, we had a gay mayor in conservative Cincinnati. She was an excellent mayor. Most Cincinnatians never even thought to remark on her sexual orientation.