Houston’s Lesbian Mayor?

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/14339457@N08/4041490994/">iavorche</a> (<a href="http://www.creativecommons.org" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a>)

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Houston’s mayoral race has come down to a notable runoff, with a final vote scheduled for this Saturday. Last month’s first round of votes in a seven-way race favored Annise Parker, a white lesbian who, if elected, would make Houston the largest U.S. city ever to have an openly gay mayor. Anti-gay activists and squeamish religious groups are mobilizing as per usual. They endorse her opponent, former city attorney Gene Locke, who won 25 percent of first round votes to Parker’s 31 percent. If he wins, he’ll become Houston’s second black mayor.

The anti-gay endorsement has put Locke in a slightly sticky position: Two of his key supporters gave money to a conservative political action committee behind a mailer condemning Parker’s “homosexual behavior.”

Naturally, a little political distancing was in order. From an AP article yesterday:

“Gene has been very clear with his supporters to not participate in divisive campaigning,” Kim Devlin, a senior Locke adviser said in a statement Tuesday. “Gene Locke has fought against bigotry his entire life and knows that there is no place for it in this campaign and this city.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The Atlantic succinctly disputes claims that the mayoral runoff echoes a perceived split between black and LGBT communities during the California vote on Proposition 8 last year. Meanwhile, Brian Levin’s blog at the Huffington Post has more on the homophobic campaign tactics, with a photo of the anti-gay mailer that shows Parker taking a prior oath of office with her partner of twenty years. Above that, the mailer reads:

“IS THIS THE IMAGE HOUSTON WANTS TO PORTRAY?”

Quite possibly, yes. We’ll find out when the election results come in this weekend. It’s expected to be a close call.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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