Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who is openly lesbian, is the subject of an anti-gay attack.

The 55-year-old Parker seized 53.6% percent of the vote in a 2009 runoff election to become the city's first openly gay mayor. She and her long-time partner Kathy Hubbard are raising two adopted daughters and have also raised a foster son, who is now an adult.

Houston businessman Dave Wilson, who is working to unseat Parker, has criticized the mayor for promoting a “homosexual agenda.”

In a fundraising letter, Wilson says 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.”

Parker responded to Wilson's attacks in a fundraising letter of her own.

“I'm being attacked simply because I'm a lesbian,” she wrote. “Your contribution will help me win re-election and show David Wilson and narrow-minded bigots everywhere that anti-gay attacks don't work and have no place in civilized society.”

Houston's KHOU reported that Wilson's attack might have backfired. “She's getting donations from across the country,” the station reported. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

In 2009, Wilson paid for 35,000 fliers calling on voters to reject Parker because she's gay.

During her tenure, Parker has extended the city's anti-discrimination protections to include gender identity (transgender protections).