Anti-Gay Attacks Get Nasty in Houston Mayor’s Race

by Paul Hogarth on November 19, 2009

On December 12th, Houston Controller Annise Parker could become the first openly gay Mayor of a major U.S. city. But in a town with a history of anti-gay politics, the race has taken a nasty turn. Right-wing operative Dave Wilson has mailed out a hit-piece attacking Parker, asking if a lesbian Mayor is the “image Houston wants to portray.” Wilson has a history of waging such attacks, but the question is whether he’s getting tacit support from Parker’s opponent (and fellow Democrat) in the run-off – former City Attorney Gene Locke. Locke had disavowed earlier anti-gay smears against Parker, but is also courting support from the same right-wing forces. Republicans are the swing vote in the run-off election, so future hit-pieces like this could prove effective. Moreover, Locke’s base is in the African-American community – and he will need a high turnout there to defeat Parker. With the right-wing eager to form an unholy alliance with black ministers against the LGBT community, will Locke succumb to letting homophobia fuel turnout to help him win the election – or will Houston prove that it’s moved beyond this hateful rhetoric?


“I have nothing but compassion, respect and sensitivity towards those trapped in homosexual behavior. I have family members and friends who have been ensnared in this behavior, and I know something of the incredible pain and sorrow it has brought to them and their families. With God’s grace, I carefully balance this love and respect for these individuals with warnings about the promotion and demand for legal and political approval for homosexual behavior that will stifle religious freedom and trap millions of more people in its deadly grip. Therefore, I would ask you to vote against Annise Parker for Mayor.”

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