13 December 2009

Houston elects openly gay mayor

Good news for LGBT equality: The people of Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., situated in a decidedly red state, have just elected their first openly gay mayor. Mayor-elect Annise Parker is also only the second woman in Houston's history to be elected mayor.

This news is the result of a runoff election that was held yesterday since neither Parker nor her challenger Gene Locke had won more than 50 percent of the vote in the November 3 election.

While this is good news, the City of Houston and the State of Texas still have a long way to go to achieve true equality for its LGBT population. As CNN points out, "a few years ago, Houston rejected a referendum to offer benefits to same-sex partners of city workers. Also, the city sits in a state where gay marriage is against the law."

But each small step in the right direction is nonetheless worth celebrating.

Congratulations to Mayor-elect Parker. And kudos to the people of Houston.

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