Annise Parker has overcome attacks
based on her sexual orientation to win a second term as mayor of
The 55-year-old, openly lesbian Parker
on Tuesday narrowly avoided a runoff by securing more than 50 percent
of the vote against her five challengers, the Houston Chronicle
Parker, however, received a
disappointing 50.8 percent of the vote – an unimpressive share when
compared to previous incumbents and her campaign's $2.3 million price
One of the her rivals, Houston
businessman Dave Wilson, routinely criticized Parker for promoting a
In a fundraising letter sent to
supporters in July, Wilson said he knows of the incredible pain and
sorrow that being “ensnared and trapped in homosexual behavior”
has brought family members and friends.
“Religious freedom will be stifled
and millions more will be trapped as the demand for legal and
political approval for homosexual behavior increases.”
Wilson's attack, however, backfired as
sympathetic donors rushed to Parker's side after she highlighted his
remarks in a fundraising letter of her own.
In 2009, Wilson paid for 35,000 fliers
calling on voters to reject Parker because she's gay.
Parker, who along with partner Kathy
Hubbard is raising two adopted daughters and has raised a foster son,
extended the city's anti-discrimination protections to include gender
identity (transgender protections) during her first term as mayor.