A cluster of socially conservative Houstonians is planning a campaign to discourage voters from choosing City Controller Annise Parker in the December mayoral runoff because she is a lesbian, according to multiple ministers and conservatives involved in the effort. The group is motivated by concerns about a "gay takeover" of City Hall, given that two other candidates in the five remaining City Council races are also openly gay, as well as national interest driven by the possibility that Houston could become the first major U.S. city to elect an openly gay woman. Another primary concern is that Parker or other elected officials would seek to overturn a 2001 city charter amendment that prohibits the city from providing benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees.
Annise Parker has become the focal point of far too many "two-minute hates" simply because she's...GASP!!!...a Lesbian. The usual collection of haters and zealots- Republicans and the God Squadders who tend to do their bidding- are outdoing themselves in an effort to paint Parker as Evil Incarnate.There are times when I really do miss Texas- the politics, that is. I mean, my God, is there are larger, more addled collection of off-their-medication hyper-religious, intolerant, self-righteous zealots than Texas Republicans? I swear, if these folks didn't have something and someone to hate, they'd have to invent an objet d' hatred just to keep themselves from imploding. The latest episode of hatred and bigotry in full flower is what's happening in Houston's mayoral race.
Oh, the humanity...WHAT ABOUT OUR PRECIOUS, IMPRESSIONABLE CHILDREN?? How can we stop Teh Gayz from taking over City Hall and recruiting our precious snowflakes??
That Parker's opponent, Gene Locke, appears to be actively courting the haters should provide a clear indication of just how powerful the politics of hatred and ignorance are in Texas. If you're looking for examples of tolerance and inclusiveness, you might just want to steer clear of the Great State of Texas, 'cuz you're going to come up empty. Then again, why would you ever want to discuss issues when you can appeal to the ignorance and prejudice of voters? If you can paint someone as Satan Her Own Self, a Lesbian precursor of the New World Order that promises to homosexualize children by teaching gay sex in public schools...well, you just saved yourself a ton of money on campaign speechwriters, haven't you?
Sadly, this has nothing to do with Parker's qualifications for the job of running the fourth-largest city in the country. No, it's about her personal life. While she's not exactly shy about her lifestyle, Annise Parker knows where the bodies are buried in City Hall. Few in Houston city government are more thoroughly qualified and experience to be Mayor...and shouldn't the be part and parcel of what she should be judged on? If Gene Locke has nothing to offer, no alternative that he thinks would put Houston in a better place, then why not stand idly by the bigots and haters tear down your opponent for you?
Granted, I no longer live in Texas, but I saw far too much of this lunacy during the ten years I did live there. I can only hope that Houstonians, who thankfully tend to be a bit more Liberal and open-minded that the rest of the state, will be able to see the hatred and bigotry for what it is. Memo to Gene Locke: if you're going to court the haters and the bigots, don't feign surprise when you're lumped in with them. And you deserve to be ridiculed and embarrassed for allowing your campaign to be hitched to those who profess to love Jesus Christ even while their hearts are blackened by hatred, bigotry, and hypocrisy.
Annise Parker is a Lesbian. SO WHAT?