Annise Parker took the official oath of office at Houston’s city hall on Saturday. But her public swearing in and celebration took place on Jan. 4. Her partner, Kathy Hubbard, stood by her side and held the family bible as U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore administered the oath of office.
Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen, who is based in Houston, gave the opening prayer.
Mary Griffin brought the house down with America The Beautiful, according to Parker assistant Justin Concepcion.
A small group of protesters stood outside with anti-gay signs.
The city charter specifies that transfer of power takes place on Jan. 2, but Parker did not want to interrupt the holiday weekend for city workers or cost the city overtime so the public celebration occurred on Monday. The second swearing in took place at the Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston in the morning and a free concert was held at Discovery Gardens in the evening. In the afternoon, she presided over her first city council meeting.
Over the weekend, Parker addressed an LGBT group of supporters to express her excitement at becoming the city’s second woman mayor and the first gay or lesbian mayor of a top 10 U.S. city.