Annise Parker Wins, Houston Becomes Largest U.S. City With Openly Gay Mayor

Annise Parker won her runoff election tonight, making Houston the largest American city with an openly gay mayor.

The Houston Chronicle is calling the mayoral election for City Controller Annise Parker. With 89 percent of precincts counted, Parker holds a lead of nearly 8,000 voters, a divide that former City Attorney Gene Locke cannot make up with the relatively small pool of voters expected to be counted in the remainder of the night. Parker’s election-day advantage has reached nearly 11 points. With 652 of 738 precincts reporting in Harris County and 100 percent in Fort Bend County (slightly less than half of the total), Parker leads former City Attorney Gene Locke by about three points with 52.7 percent to his 47.3 percent. About 7,000 votes separate them out of more than 145,000.

During the campaign, Parker suffered outrageously homophobic attacks by some members of Texas’ evangelical community. Until tonight, the largest U.S. city with an openly gay mayor was Portland, Oregon.