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Anti-Gay Rhetoric Rises in Race for Houston Mayor

HOUSTON -- Voters in a hotly contested runoff election will decide Saturday whether Houston will become the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor.

City Controller Annise Parker has never made a secret or an issue of her sexual orientation, but others have lately catapulted it into the center of the mayoral race.

Anti-gay activists and conservative religious groups have endorsed her opponent, former city attorney 61-year-old Gene Locke. Some have also sent out mailers condemning Parker's "homosexual behavior."

Meanwhile, gay and lesbian political organizations around the country have endorsed 53-year-old Parker, raised money for her campaign and plan to run phone banks rallying her supporters.

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HOUSTON -- Voters in a hotly contested runoff election will decide Saturday whether Houston will become the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor.City Controller Annise Parker has never made a secret or an issue of her sexual orientation, but others have lately...
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