Conservatives Lash Out Against Lesbian Mayor For Being a Lesbian, Promoting Equality

(Nick de la Torre / Houston Chronicle)

Annise Parker, known lesbian and the mayor of Houston, is facing political backlash from conservatives who were apparently under the impression that she was going to keep her mouth shut about matters such as marriage equality when she took office.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Parker recently participated in a nationwide call for the legalization of same-sex marriage, proclaimed Valentine’s Day to be Freedom to Marry Day, and has urged President Obama to “evolve” towards supporting marriage equality.  This kind of “activist behavior” has triggered the backwards-gaydar sense that is standard-issue for all of your conservative, evangelical bigots.
Pastor Steve Riggle of Grace Community Church, a mega-church in Houston, spent an hour ranting to his sizable congregation about Parker’s failure to uphold the Texas Constitution because she is advocating for something that the majority of Houstonians oppose (according to Riggle who cited a poll from 2005).
“Respectfully, if you cannot uphold the Texas Constitution, then you should do the honorable thing and step down,” Riggle continued in his “sermon.”

Also, because speaking out for marriage equality and balancing a budget are two mutually exclusive things, the Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill told the Chronicle that Parker really “needs to be in Houston doing her job balancing the budget,” rather than attending conferences on marriage equality with other mayors in Washington D.C.

Woodfill and other Houston conservatives like him have made it very clear that they think Annise Parker is deliberately violating the Texas Constitution by advocating to change it.  But believe me, while the Texas Constitution might be somewhat of a joke, it does not include any sort of clause that would render advocating for its amendment to be unconstitutional. In fact, changing state constitutions is something of a hobby for man conservative anti-gay politicians who agitate for amendments to ban same-sex marriage, so it seems confusing that it would be unconstitutional for Parker to do the same thing in the name of equality.

In response to the all of the hullabaloo, Mayor Parker told the Huffington Post:

“Sometimes I sort of scratch my head. Okay, I’m an out lesbian. They know that. I’m in a long-term relationship. And yes, I want the ability to marry my spouse. And here I am, one of 90 mayors from around the country, and somehow it provoked this wave of hate mail. And the funny thing is that this initiative, it actually came from my mayoral colleagues in the big cities. This was Antonio Villaraigosa from Los Angeles. It was Mayor Bloomberg. It’s Mayor Menino in Boston. Nutter in Philadelphia. Emmanuel in Chicago.They had it worked out and then they invited me to join. This is not an initiative from the GLBT community. But because I’m a part of that, it’s like, somehow in people’s eyes down here, I’ve changed from my role as mayor of Houston into lesbian activist. Well, I’m the mayor of Houston first, but I’m still a lesbian. And I care.”

Mayor Parker is up for re-election in 2013, and it seems that in spite of her haters she will continue to advocate for change on both a state and federal level.

Lemon has written 16 articles for us.

23 Comments

  1. Oh Texas, stop pretending you’re against marriage equality. I was shocked to see how big the GLBTQ community is in Texas. But now I know why because…
    The stars at night are big and bright
    *clap*clap*clap*clap*
    Deep in the heart of Texas.

    • I don’t know. I feel like Texas (in the big cities at least) is generally supportive of marriage equality. But then, once you leave those little islands of blue and enter the rural sea of red, harassment becomes the norm. I guess the thing I find shocking is that she’s being bothered in Houston. Really, Houston? Really? You are has lots of teh gay.

      • Houston also has a lot of right wingers. Katy (in N. Houston) was Bush-country in the last decade. I don’t know if it’s still like that, but it wouldn’t surprise me either way.

        • I’m near Katy and I’m currently being represented in the House by none other than Ron Paul. This place is still a mess of tea partying conservatism wrapped in a nice little bow of big oil money.

  2. I think there are better jokes to be made about Texas laws, like how Section 21.06 is still on the books just with the caveat that it was declared unconstitutional (this is the Lawrence v. Texas law).

    Also: “This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
    So, is marriage itself illegal in the state, even between opposite-sex couples? Did someone go a little overkill in trying to make same-sex marriage extra illegal?

    I love Annise Parker though and I’m sad that I live in a suburb so she’s not technically my mayor. Just look at her, totally flaunting her gayness for all the world to see:
    http://robingorsline.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/annise-parker-and-partner-kathy-hubbard.jpg
    Is that not downright scandalous?

  3. I’m quite embarrassed to say that I live in Houston and had no idea about this. Good to know now, though. I will be definitely be voting for Parker come 2013.

  4. Does every state in America have it’s own song? (forgive an ignorant brit)

    I wonder how that would work over here?

    (Oh, please let someone write County songs for england! I’ll start!

    Northumberland, Northumberland
    Mostly empty apart from the sheep
    Your choices are farmers or posh gits in tweed
    And I hope you enjoy rain and sleet!)

  5. Annise Parker was a keynote speaker at the Girl Scout National Convention back in November (it took place in Houston). I was really worried that my little gay soul would be crushed while in Texas but she TOTALLY saved me (and also maybe the 2000 Girl Scouts around me helped). She was pretty badass. I want her to be my mayor!

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord of Gay Feels: Vol. I | The Adventures of Holly Homemaker

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