A group of conservative ministers in
Houston, Texas say they'll lead a campaign against Annise Parkers'
mayoral runoff because she is a lesbian, the Houston Chronicle
Parker and former city attorney Gene
Locke were the two top vote-getters out of a field of seven on
November 3 and will face each other in a December 12 runoff.
Portland is currently the largest U.S. city to be led by an openly
gay mayor, Sam Adams. Parker is running to lead the nation's fourth
The group says they're alarmed by the
possibility of a “gay takeover” of City Hall – two openly gay
candidates are also vying for seats on the Houston City Council –
which could lead to the reversal of a 2001 amendment that prohibits
the city from providing benefits to the domestic partners of gay and
“The bottom line is that we didn't
pick the battle, she did, when she made her agenda and sexual
preference a central part of her campaign,” Dave Welch, executive
director of the conservative group Houston Area Pastor Council, told
“National gay and lesbian activists
see this as a historic opportunity. The reality is that's because
they're promoting an agenda which we believe to be contrary to the
concerns of the community and destructive to the family,” he added.
Writing at gay weekly the Dallas
Voice, columnist David Taffet disagreed: “While Parker is
clear about who she is (she has a partner of 20 years [Kathy Hubbard]
and two children), she does not make an issue of her sexual
“What bothers these ministers is that
she doesn't lie,” Taffet added. “She doesn't hide. She's open
and honest about who she is. Interesting that these qualities bother
The fifty-three-year-old made history
in 1997 when she became Houston's first openly gay city council
member. She served three terms on the council, then moved on to city
controller in 2003.
Previous to holding elected office,
Parker worked in the oil and gas industry and co-owned a bookstore.