RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Houston has joined a growing list of American cities that have elected an openly gay mayor. This weekend, its vote followed Portland, Oregon, Providence, Rhode Island, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. But Houston's race attracted national attention because it is the fourth-largest city in the country.
Annise Parker began her political career as a gay activist before serving on Houston's city council. Though in the race for mayor she played down her sexual orientation, some conservative religious groups made an issue of it. Still, after being elected, Parker joked she was a first - the first graduate of Rice University to be elected Houston's mayor.
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