Bob Perry, who built homes in Oak Lawn and was the top donor to the anti-gay marriage amendment in Texas, died Saturday.
Perry came to national attention in 2004 when he funded Karl Rove’s “swiftboating” campaign against Sen. John Kerry, who was challenging President George W. Bush. The purpose was to cast doubt on Kerry’s claim to being a decorated Vietnam War hero. Until the swiftboat ads ran, Kerry was ahead in the polls.
But the following year, Perry’s contribution of $110,000 to a PAC supporting the anti-gay amendment, caused many in the LGBT community to boycott his properties. In Oak Lawn, Perry built The Reserve at Reagan and Wycliff Place. Downtown he built City View at Farmer’s Market.
Gay real estate agent Jack Evans said at the time: “Why feed the enemy? The more profit he makes from the community, the more he’s going to try his best to bury it.”
An Austin-based Perry spokesman at the time said Perry was not homophobic because he wouldn’t be building homes in LGBT neighborhoods if he were. Perry Homes also built properties in Houston’s heavily gay Montrose neighborhood.