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. paul

    CONGRATULATIONS for your success, your hard work and for pathing the way for so many more to follow. I look forward to the day when we, as gay people, will see headlines that do not mention our 'preferences' first but lead with our accomplishments. Until then, thank you.

    January 4, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. bobby

    Why do we always make a big deal about these "firsts" "first openly gay" mayor, first black president. first one armed red head, first fill-in- the-blank whatever. Who cares? if your qualified and you have enough votes you win. I don't care if your black, purple, gay, straight, have red hair, whatever! And why does it always seem like the "firsts" that make the news are if your gay or african american? How about the red head minorites, or the asian minorities, or the wheelchair bound minorities or all the other thousands of minorities.

    January 4, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Brian Sweeney

    Amazing, the other new mayors did not have their sexual status posted, however, Ms. Parker has hers. Why wasn't she just identified as the most qualified candidate which was chosen by the progressive citizens of Houston, Texas ?

    January 4, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. csh

    Good for Anise Parker – she has made the right kind of history!!

    January 4, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. PaulMoATX

    Best of luck Anise! I know you'll do great things for the city I was born and raised in.

    January 4, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Jacob

    she is an inspiration! great way to kick off 2010!

    January 4, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Jerry

    Lets do the math, only 2% of the population voted for her and now being gay is some how OK with every one. Wake up America

    January 4, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. j

    I'll be happy when it isn't novel to elect an openly homosexual person to a public office. Likewise, when it's nothing new to elect a woman for president or any other high office.

    January 4, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. bill

    watching the decay of all of our morals,,,, good job

    January 4, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    It is good to see people elected that do not conform to the right wingnut, private country club set who have drug our country into a moral abyss with their extramarital affairs in the last 8 years of the disasterous reign of terror of the Bush Cheney administration.

    January 4, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    they got elected because they are qualified top do a great job . and they are openly GAY but still people are waking up and voting for the right person not because they are GAY or not .. I am glad she won . even if she is GAY . the people who voted for her should be proud . stand up america and show everyone that we can do the right thing and not be afraid of the religious nuts and republican threat machine .. way to go :)

    January 4, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. We the People/FormerGOP

    So because she is gay she can’t govern?? I don’t care who this woman choose to sleep with, Personally I think homosexuality is wrong but it does not mean gay people are not productive people.

    January 4, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Jane/Seattle

    Good! Now they'll just find any old Republican or Blue Dog to fill this vacancy! Does not matter much as this 2 Party system works together to hurt average citizens and assist the Corporations Rule!

    January 4, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. eric b

    Bill Mahr was right when he said alot of Americans are stupid, here is a good example. Gays are in every aspect of our lives Mayors,Teachers,Firefighters,Police Officers ect. People no different than you and me other than their sexual prefrence (Nune of our goverments business). The Republicans and their Religious Right force these People into living with Loved ones they CAN"T marrry!!!!!! AMERICA IS STUPID God i hope we grow up one day. Not soon enough I'm afraid!

    January 4, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Michael, Gallatin, TN

    In their heart of hearts it must really irk the fundies and hatemongers to know that no matter how much they scream and rant ultimately, liberalism, equality and acceptance of each others differences will triumph over fear, superstition and evil. Congratulations Madam Mayor and Happy New Year!

    January 4, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Mario

    I love all these people that talk about "moral bankruptcy". You have all kinds of politicians cheating on their wife (hello SC) and you have the nerve to talk about morality because someone is gay? Please. Good for her, it is time all of you guys stop seeing gay people as people with brains and qualification and to stop getting your minds out of the gutter when you think about us.

    January 4, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Luke Brown

    Strange story. Why didn't CNN feel any need to share intimate details of Kasim Reed's sexual orientation with us?

    I think they will both make good mayors ... regardless of the gender of those they are having sex with.

    January 4, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Dana

    if you don't think it is news, then why are you commenting on it?
    And it will cease to be news when all Americans have the same rights.
    Annise wasn't elected because she is a lesbian, but because she is the right candidate for the job... but it is still news considering people in this country still go and vote for gays to not be allowed to be open in their jobs or get married... i hardly thing that is the same as being straight.

    January 4, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. Titanic

    WOW! Another step toward moral oblivion.

    January 4, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Psychologist

    As long as she governs the way she is supposed to, I have too much of a life of my own to concern myself who sleeps with whom. Look at George W. Bush: He is straight, the world hates him, he ran this country into the ground by creating an unprecented budget deficit, started two wars where we don't have any business being, just to name a few example for limited minds. So based on him being hetero, was he a great choice? To the Bible junkies who favor double standards: There is far greater sin than homosexuality; how about ruining people's lives by getting them killed or supporting people like Ken Lay who stole from the Enron employees, abusing controlled substances such as cocaine, or having your father pay Yale University for you to even receive a degree?
    I wish you the best, Mayor Parker!

    January 4, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Psychologist

    P.S.
    Homosexuality has been around longer then The Bible. Take a look at both Roman and Greek empires >2100 B.C. Of course only the educated minds know of such. And The Bible was written by man, translated from a different language. For those of us who speak a foreign language, we know some items cannot be translated verbatum. Inevitably there will be both paraphrasing and misinterpretation. So to the 'moral' people arguing against gays, take some education classes. It might just make you a better person!

    January 4, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    My understanding is that Mayor Parker was eminently qualified for the job. Perhaps that's why she was elected?

    January 4, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. robwestchester

    Good for her. Congratulations!

    January 4, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Did

    Did not expect did not think ah ah did not expect did not think. . .
    The People's Republic of China did not expect to actually let me on the CNN Hemou Hefei, Anhui Province, China to stay. . . . Are very pleased to know you

    January 4, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Moderate

    Godspeed Mayor Anise Parker and congratulations to Houston for choosing the best candidate to govern their city.

    January 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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