January 4th, 2010
10:04 AM ET
5 years ago

New year, new mayors

Houston will become the largest city in the country to be governed by an openly-gay person when Annise Parker takes over Monday as the city's mayor.
Houston will become the largest city in the country to be governed by an openly-gay person when Annise Parker takes over Monday as the city's mayor.

(CNN) – Houston will become the largest city in the country to be governed by an openly-gay person when Annise Parker takes over Monday as the city's mayor.

Parker was sworn in over the weekend in a private ceremony as chief executive of the nation's fourth largest city. Public events are planned for Monday.

The 53-year-old three-term city controller has never tried to shield her sexual orientation in any of her campaigns for public office. Parker has been with her partner for 19 years and has two adopted children.

Parker won nearly 54 percent of the vote in a runoff election last month, topping former city attorney Gene Lock in the battle to succeed Bill White, who was term limited. White is now aiming for a higher office: Texas governor.

Atlanta gets a new mayor Monday as well, as Kasim Reed is sworn in. Reed, who topped Mary Norwood in a runoff election last month, replaces two-term mayor Shirley Franklin.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    The voters of Houston should be commended for their open minds and intelligence to elect the most qualified candidate regardless of race, gender, or sexual preference. Contrary to the beliefs of religious oriented family values voters, good government does not depend on the sexual orientation of the elected official.

    January 4, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Minnie

    Why do they always broadcast gay stuff. We don't say a straight mayor. Looks like they would be ashamed. They always have to say gay. I say queer.

    January 4, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!

    I see that Houston has started off the year with an open mind. Good for them!

    January 4, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. phoenix86

    We'll see how she does. There was this sense of history with Obama, and he has been a disaster.

    January 4, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. sara

    Good luck with the haters in TEXAS

    January 4, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Saad

    To each their own and good luck to Ms. Parker and the city of Houston but this is indeed very sad. Very very sad.

    January 4, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Diana

    Congratulations Ms. Parker and the city of Houston!
    There is some hope for the state of Texas after all.

    January 4, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Robert

    The problem with articles like this is that it, and many more, just continues to flame the fire. If we saw Obama as just another man, and this mayor as just another woman, would you care any more or less? All these articles do is perpetuate the racism that plagues the country. Enough already with the "making history" articles, they're not special, they're not different, they're just people who won an office.

    January 4, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. D Foster

    How sad this really is. This isn't something that anyone should want their children to aspire to become. One of this counries biggest problems is that we tollerate homosexuality and try to equate it to race.

    January 4, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Sniffit

    hahaha...the fundies must be out of their minds...looks like secession won't grant you your theocratic social conservative utopia after all, eh TX?

    January 4, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. El Kababa

    There is a rumor in Houston that Mayor Parker is not really gay. She is reported to have a secret husband. She has been faking the lesbian thing just to get ahead in politics.

    We need to investigate this.

    January 4, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Ms. Callahan....just sayin'

    What I like about Parker is she is not focused on 'her sexuality' but her humanness..what she can do to help man/woman on earth. Her sexuality is a moral issue to be worked through by her and God alone. Her accoutablity for that lies with him. Her life actions are what stands out for her...I admire that she is a contribuiting citizen wanting to make a difference in the positive and not the negatives.

    January 4, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Sauron

    We had Kathy Whitmire who was lesbian. This is not the first gay mayor Houston has had. Kathy was a good mayor as Bill our last one was. The ones between Kathy and Bill were terrible.

    January 4, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Kathy in Florida

    Many Cheers! Way to go Anise Parker!!!!!!!!! And best of luck in your new position.

    January 4, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. NYbywayof Texas

    I was raised and lived in Houston for 20+ years and am proud of how potentially progressive it can be. The last female Mayor was Kathy Whitmeyer and I think she did wonders for Houston. Less dependant on oil and more diversed business structures helped to steam economic tides. Government is appointed by Divine Order. I pray her success.

    January 4, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. TCM

    as so our country slides further into the immoral abyss.....

    January 4, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. TOTUS 4 President

    She won with a paltry 81,000 votes, for a city of over 4 million. The loser only got about 70,000. The gay population is about 70,000, or so, and thus it is not hard to see that a very small minority voting block leveraged this election. It would be inaccurate to suggest that 54% of Houstonians are in support of her!

    January 4, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. John Hatteberg

    I work in Houston but I'm from an outlying suburb of Houston, so I wasn't able to vote for the Houston mayor. Before the elections happened, EVERYONE I talked to here at work preferred Anise over her opponent. NOONE made any mention of her sexual preference. I don't think people care any more what a city or state level politician does in their private life as long as they're not cheating on their significant other or breaking the law. I'm sure Anise will do fine.

    January 4, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. diamond j

    what a shame!

    January 4, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. Silence Dogoode

    who cares? I do not shield my heterosexuality....

    January 4, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. ThinkAgain

    Congrats, Mayor Parker! I wish you and your city much success!

    January 4, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Ezra

    Yep let us do all we can do to make homosexuals normal–right!

    January 4, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Boomer

    Can we now say that political positions are no longer a motivation for future generations to look at as role models? Has it come to a point where political positions are just administrative roles? Or do we raise our children to be sophisticated and intellectual enough to know the distinctions?

    January 4, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. texan

    Why is this news?????
    clearly she was the best candidate and won. This would seem to take some air out of the people who cry discrimination. Acutally people really don't care.

    January 4, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Jose

    Congratulations and best of luck! Let the best person suited for any job always be voted into office...

    January 4, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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