Annise Parker, behind podium, celebrates with her longtime partner, Kathy Hubbard, and their two adopted daughtuers, Daniela and Marquitta, after Parker was elected Houston city controller in 2003. Parker has been elected citywide six times.
Here’s a report from DV staff writer David Taffet:
Equality Texas, the LGBT lobby organization, hosts a Pride Weekend â€œSunrise Brunchâ€ on Sunday, June 7 featuring Annise Parker as the keynote speaker. Parker is running for mayor of Houston.
Parker has been Houston city controller for the past five years. Controller is that cityâ€™s second-highest elected position after mayor. Before that, she served as an at-large member of the city council for six years.
Parker was the first openly gay or lesbian person elected in Houston. She and her partner Kathy Hubbard have been together since 1990 and they have two adopted children.
In a city known for its lack of zoning ordinances, Parker shaped better inner city development regulations. She tightened Houstonâ€™s non-discrimination policy, created the cityâ€™s $20 million Rainy Day Fund and developed a nationally recognized civic art program.
Before her election to city government, Parker worked in the oil and gas industry for 20 years. In addition, she and a business partner owned Inklings Bookshop on Richmond Avenue in the Montrose neighborhood. In her campaign literature, she touts her business experience as one of her biggest assets.
Austin area State Reps. Elliott Naishtat and Mark Strama will both speak at the luncheon as well. Naishtat is serving his ninth term in office and has regularly sponsored legislation supporting the LGBT community, including the James Byrd Hate Crimes bill. This session, he authored a bill that would have provided partnership benefits for employees of the University of Texas and A&M college systems.
In the past, Equality Texas and the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce ran separate Pride weekend events. Last year, the two groups worked together, and this year they turned the festival over to the Pride Coalition, a group that includes seven Austin LGBT organizations.
In addition to the brunch, Equality Texas will host two Pride dances. A womenâ€™s dance with DJ Reverend Kathy Russell takes place June 12. A menâ€™s dance on June 19 features DJ Chicken George. Both events will be held at Fiesta Gardens Clubhouse on Jesse E. Segovia Street in Austin. Admission to either is $10. Proceeds benefit Equality Texas.
Austin’s Pride celebration begins with the festival at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 6 at Republic Square Park, followed by the parade through downtown Austin at 8:30 p.m., and an after-parade party at Republic Square Park.
Admission to the Austin Pride festival costs $5 and includes the after-parade party. The parade itself is free.
The brunch costs $50 and will be held at Chateau Bellevue at the Austin Woman’s Club, a historic mansion in downtown Austin. RSVP by 5 p.m. Saturday, June 6.
Sunrise Brunch, Chateau Bellevue at the Austin Women’s Club, 708 San Antonio Street, Austin. June 7 at 11:30 a.m. $50. 512-474-5475.