Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker named co-chair of DNC’s LGBT Advisory Board

Posted on 30 Jan 2016 at 12:43pm

Houston-Mayor-Annise-ParkerThe Democratic National Committee has appointed former Houston Mayor Annise Parker and HIV/AIDS and LGBT activist the Rev. José M. Román co-chairs of the party’s new LGBT Advisory Board.

The board, which is open to LGBT Democrats from all states, will work to advance LGBT equality by prioritizing community concerns and electing LGBT and ally Democrats across the country.

“The LGBT community has made huge strides the past 7 years under Democratic leadership, but with few exceptions the Republican Party continues to fight against equality at every turn,” Parker said in a statement.

In 2009, Parker became the first out LGBT person elected mayor of a major American city. She served for three terms until being term-limited. She was previously a city council member and city controller.

It’s crucial that LGBT voters elect Democrats, Parker said in a statement.

“During the fight to pass the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance in my own city, the despicable depiction of transgender people showed us how far our opponents will go to stop progress on protecting the rights of LGBT Americans,” Parker said.

HERO, the city’s comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance, was repealed last November after a yearlong battle with its opponents, who include many Republican lawmakers.

“The DNC’s LGBT Advisory Board will give us new opportunities to elevate local battles like HERO and to share strategies across communities about way to organize and win. I look forward to using the lessons learned in Houston to help lead this effort,” Parker added.

Her co-chair, the Rev. José Miguel Románis, is a prominent LGBT and HIV/AIDS activist based in New York City who is credited for advocating for needle exchange programs in New York City and securing funding for HIV/AIDS research. He also served on the Board of Directors of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

“The diverse voices of the LGBT community have not always been represented in the national LGBT movement,” Román said. “This Advisory Board will help those voices be heard in the Party’s continuing efforts to advance LGBT rights. It will also help shine a light on LGBT Democratic candidates and the efforts of elected Democrats fighting for our community. I look forward to helping lead and shape this diverse body so that we can continue to fight for and protect the progress we have made.”

Board applications are still being accepted. Apply here.

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