HOUSTON - Houston became the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor, with voters handing a solid victory to City Controller Annise Parker after a hotly contested runoff.
Several other U.S. cities, including Portland, Ore., Providence, R.I., and Cambridge, Mass., have openly gay mayors, but none are as large as Houston.
"This election has changed the world for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Just as it is about transforming the lives of all Houstonians for the better, and that's what my administration will be about," Parker told supporters after her opponent, Gene Locke, conceded defeat.
Parker's victory comes after several setbacks for gay rights activists. New York lawmakers earlier this month rejected a bill that would have made their state the sixth to allow gay marriage. In November, Maine voters repealed the Legislature's passage of a state law allowing same-sex marriage there.
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