OPINION: Why Black People Should Celebrate Houston's Gay Mayor

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From The Root:

This weekend Houston made history, electing Anisse Parker the first openly gay mayor of a major American city. The Texan coup was a clear victory for advocates of civil rights and marriage equality, but also stands to erode the consistent—and incorrect—presumption that black Americans are reflexively anti-gay. Parker won the runoff election with nearly 54 percent of the vote in a city that is 25 percent African American—against an African-American opponent, no less. Despite a series of mailings and smears targeted at Parker and engineered by conservatives, the 40 percent of black voters who were undecided in mid-October seem to have gravitated toward Parker and pushed her over the top. What’s more, late-stage polls suggest that 77 percent of voters “didn’t care about Parker’s sexuality.”

Black Americans should be glad of this outcome. Parker will, by all accounts, prove a competent and energetic executive and a Democratic foil to neo-secessionist Governor Rick Perry. And this victory is an opportunity to openly affirm the solidarity on civil rights and equal representation that has been the bedrock of social progress in the country.

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