Sunday, December 13, 2009

Houston is now the largest U.S. with an openly-gay mayor

As of late Saturday night, after the unofficial ballot tally from 99% of the precincts reporiting in for the run-off election for Houston's mayor between former city attorney Gene Locke and city controller Annise Parker with Parker as the winner.  Now the pettiful thing about this election yesterday is percentage of turnout being only 16%.  However, the campaigning leading up to this run-off was quite contentious with accusations about Parker using spot as mayor to push a "gay agenda" from individuals and groups who either were associated or endorsed Locke.  Some of those individuals on his Locke's financial committee donated $20,000 to a political action committee lead by Steven Hotze, who donated funds to anti-gay causes. On the other hand, there were some subtle racial remarks from conservative pastors and preachers at Houston area black churches, but luckily this wasn't the front-and-center issue for the mayoral run-off.  Parker did bad-mouth Locke as a 'crony' of the current regime of the city although he touted a reduction in crime as political platform; whereas, Parker touted her time as the city controller as her platform.  Oh yeah, along with the statement that she is "nobody's role model". 

Interestingly, just last year the majority of voters rejected a ballot issues that would have allowed city employees given the domestic partnership benefits extended to all couples including those of the same sex.  

Now many across the LGBT blogosphere are enthusiast about the win for Ms. Parker, but Parker specifically said that she wouldn't be using the mayoral office to advance any specific LGBT causes.  This in my opinion shows that Ms. Parker is more or less in it for the political expediency and title not representing anybody but herself.  In other words, the LBGT blogosphere's excitement is one of "collective mindset" which I'm not a part of because this gets most nowhere to be honest.  I'm glad to see that Houstonians are objective enough to elected a mayor based on their qualifications and platform, but this isn't exactly a "win" for LGBTs.  Honestly speaking, Houston is still in Texas, a very socially-conservative state in the South, and it still has a majority socially conservative mindset when it comes to LGBT-oriented issues although they lean more Democrat on the political spectrum.  I don't equate Democrat to socially progressive.  

Also Houston is a city with 25% black population, so even though Locke won the black vote easily it didn't equate to a win.  Another thing was that this election came down to the who could energize their base the most and ironically (time and time again), whites have proven to be more reliable voters than blacks along with the fact that Parker pulled others into her electoral fold

Congratulations, Houston!  You deserve it, but to my fellow LGBT/SGL bloggers, I don't get too excited over this win because it's more showing that candidate that brought out their supporters to win.

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