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Lesbian Mayoral Hopeful Targeted

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A group of social conservatives in Houston wants to discourage voters from supporting mayoral candidate Annise Parker in a December runoff election because she is a lesbian.

According to the Houston Chronicle,"the group is motivated by concerns about a 'gay takeover' of City Hall, given that two other candidates in the five remaining City Council races are also openly gay, as well as national interest driven by the possibility that Houston could become the first major U.S. city to elect an openly gay woman."

Opposition to Parker is also motivated by concern that she would lead an effort to repeal a 2001 charter amendment prohibiting the city from providing benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees.

Parker, the city controller, will face former city attorney Gene Locke in a runoff election on December 12.

Meanwhile, Locke is courting some of the social conservatives and ministers planning the attacks against Parker, according to the Chronicle.

"Locke has also met with and sought the endorsement of Dr. Steven Hotze, a longtime local kingmaker in conservative politics and author of the Straight Slate in 1985, a coterie of eight City Council candidates he recruited who ran on an anti-gay platform," the Chronicle reported.
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