With former NYC Mayor Ed Koch not out of the closet (now, nor during his tenure), Houston’s mayor-elect Annise Parker will soon claim the “first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city.” (With about 2.2 million people, Houston is America’s fourth-largest by population.) And it’s not just the gays who noticed, but Barack Obama too. He personally dialed Parker to wish her congratulations. Conspicuously absent from his voicemail?
Any mention of why Parker’s election is so noteworthy: Because she’s a lez.
It’s not terribly surprising Obama dialed her number; Parker is indeed a Democrat, though she leans conservative. And it’s not terribly surprising he didn’t mention anything queer on the phone — lest the voicemail go public (as Parker made it) and opponents find a soundbite in there to use in 2012.
And while he ended up leaving a message instead of talking to her directly (she was in the middle of an interview when he called), that Obama rang Parker is notable for a whole other reason: Because he didn’t pick up the phone once when marriage equality legislation was up for a vote in Maine. That, friends, might have required a full 60 seconds of his time.