Saturday was Annise Parker's last day
running Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city.
Parker gained national attention in
2009 when she became the first openly gay person elected mayor of a
major U.S. city. After being re-elected twice, Parker was
term-limited last year.
Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner, a
former state representative, was sworn in on Saturday.
Facebook post Thursday, Parker wrote: “It's been an honor serving
my hometown for over 18 years. … Tonight was the last time I exit
City Hall as your mayor, which has been the best job I've ever had.
In an exit interview with the Houston
Chronicle, Parker, a former city councilwoman and city
controller, criticized the campaign against the city's LGBT-inclusive
Equal Rights Ordinance.
While the law prohibited discrimination
in housing, employment and public accommodations based on more than a
dozen characteristics including race, religion, sexual orientation
and gender identity, opponents who forced it onto the ballot kept to
a misleading message: The law would give sexual predators pretending
to be women access to women's restrooms.
Repeal of the law made Houston the
largest city in the U.S. without LGBT protections.
Parker reiterated that voters responded
to “fear” and added that the campaign to keep the ordinance kept
to the high road.
“We were trying to take the high road
and we got run over,” she
Parker, 59, has expressed interest in
running for a higher office.