In a public celebration held on Monday, Annise Parker was sworn in as Houston’s 61st mayor and became the first openly lesbian leader of a major U.S. city.
U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore administered Parker’s oath while her partner, Kathy Hubbard, held the Parker family bible.
“I spoke on election night of that being an historic election, and my election made news all around the world,” she told the more than 1,000 people who gathered at the city’s Wortham Theater. “Now, Houstonians weren’t very surprised they elected a gay woman. We have a tradition of electing mayors not for who they are but for what they believe we can do as a city…”
“Your bravery in the face of threat, your grace in the face of insult, sustains me,” she said. “I will gladly carry you forward."
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund said Parker’s victory holds tremendous significance for the gay community:
This is a watershed moment in American politics. Annise was elected by fair-minded people from across the city because of her experience and competence, and we're glad Houston soundly rejected the politics of division. This victory sends a clear signal that gays and lesbians are an integral part of American civic life that we're willing to lead, and that voters will respond to candidates who are open and honest about their lives.
It is heartening to see the mainstream media take such strong note of this tremendous achievement for the nation’s LGBT community and its allies. (To see a portion of CNN's extensive coverage, click here)
GLAAD will continue to offer media outlets resources in their ongoing coverage of landmark LGBT events.