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For those that never thought an openly gay man or woman could be elected as the head of a major Bible Belt city need only look at Houston for a new reality, as it has become the first major city to do so.

Former City Comptroller Annise Parker overcame what some thought to be insurmountable odds to beat opponent Gene Locke with 53% of the total vote. Sadly, only 16.5% of Houston’s population turned out to vote.

The race took an inflammatory turn after conservative voters brought Parker’s, 53, sexuality in the race. Locke tried to keep his distance from many of his opponent’s most ardent supporters while banking on their vote to propel them to victory.

Houston has traditionally been a predominately democratic state with about 1/3 and 25% of Black Americans identifying themselves as Democrats. Nearly 60,000 of its denizens are homosexual.