This post originally appeared on Houstini.com on Oct. 25, 2011
If LGBT Houstonians needed another reason to run, not walk to the polls, this video from mayoral candidate and Houston Area Pastor Council Executive Director Dave Welch should provide it:
The video, complete with soundtrack appropriate to the third act of a Lifetime original movie, attempts to suggest that Mayor Annise Parker, who is seeking re-election to a second term, has engaged in an insidious plot to advance the "gay agenda." As evidence Welch provides the mayor's executive order clarifying that the city's employee nondiscrimination policy covers gender expression and identity, an executive order policy prohibiting police or city employees from barring transgender people from use of gender appropriate restrooms, and the appointment of Texas' first out trans judge, Phyllis Frye (maybe Welch meant to say "trans agenda"). Welch also attacks Parker for the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau efforts to attract LGBT tourists, a tactic we've already seen in this race from candidate Fernando Herrera.
Welch's most damaging evidence, however, is the chaste, almost Victorian, peck on the check that Parker gave her partner of 20-some-odd years, first lady Cathy Hubbard, immediately after being sworn in. The horror of the kiss is repeated twice in the video, both times in slow motion so viewers can understand the true terror of two people in a loving mutual relationship. Welch closes by encouraging viewers to show the video at their churches.
Early voting in the Houston mayoral race started Monday. Early numbers show historically low voter turnout with only 2,557 people voting in person. That's down almost half from the 4,089 people who voted on the first day of early voting in 2009 when Parker was first elected.