A homosexual mayor for Houston?

The runoff between City Controller Annise Parker and former City Attorney Gene Locke in the Houston mayor race is going to start getting more attention because some people have noticed that one of the candidates is openly gay and they’re going to make an issue of it. A Houston Chronicle story describes how a handful of social conservatives plan to act to stop a “gay takeover” of Houston city government.

HoustonTrafficWreckWhat a great idea! Houston voters should focus on the sexuality of their mayor because the city has no major problems left to worry about. Clearly, gay and lesbian employees getting benefits for their spouses is the issue that should define Houston in the new millennium.

Oh…  the “straight” candidate also favors same-sex benefits because they  allow governments and businesses “a competitive advantage.”

So, this is either an attempt to reject a candidate purely on their personal life or a symbolic power play by some to demonstrate that they’re in control.

Unfortunately, this is a serious test for Houston. Businesses thinking about moving to town will be asking if Houston can focus on the work it takes to make a community thrive or if the city will get bogged down by anger. Turning the mayoral runoff into a battle about homosexuality will only convince the rest of the nation that Houstonians would rather have new divisions than new neighbors.

This reflects the broader problem that Texas politicians at the moment seem to be better at picking fights than solving problems. Whatever his faults, George W. Bush proved that he could put up a good fight and then put it aside and work with former enemies to solve the state’s problems. At his best Bush refused to become the captive of the politics of division and define himself by the enemies he made. Bush (and Reagan before him) understood that in a way that some people seem unable to grasp.

*** Update ***

Parker won the December 12 runoff with about 53% of the vote.  Rick Casey of the Houston Chronicle analyzed the strategy failures behind Locke’s loss.

Nick Anderson's cartoon

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2 Responses

  1. Just what we need; more homosexuals pushing their ungodly lifestyles into our educational systems and children’s minds.

    • You seem to be proving my point. Mayors don’t run the schools and obsessing about the sexuality of the candidates insures that we don’t discuss the policies that make a city work.

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