Anise, We Have a Problem
There is an argument that social issues shouldn't play much of a role in mayoral politics, and many in Houston are sympathetic to that view.
But should such a view hold when your lesbian mayor reveals, in arrogant, disparaging, and militaristic terms, how she feels about traditional marriage? Specifically, Houston's mayor, Anise Parker, who is up for re-election, let her guard down in the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Interview when she said (emphasis added):
"I'm not a spokesperson for the gay community," she adds. Gay marriage is personal. "I've been with my life partner for 22 years." They have three children. "I want to marry her."
Ms. Parker is holding out for Texas to legalize gay marriage. "I may be old and creaky, but it's gonna happen," she says. "This is a war we've already won. There are still battles left to fight. ... mopping up operations."
Many people in Houston, including this writer, feel very strongly about upholding traditional marriage, yet a good number of those people are considering voting for Mayor Parker for a third term. Although the city's streets are a mess, Houston's sitting mayor has otherwise been moderately competent and avoided major mistakes.
But now that we know how Anise Parker really feels, should we in Houston consider voting differently? I ask this not out of spite, but out of practicality. A successful three-term female mayor would likely have a rosy future at the state, if not national, level, where social-issue politics is much more relevant. Why should Houston's conservative electorate enable the promotion of a politician who just confessed her war on their traditional values?
And since she brought up the social issues, there is another one to consider. Not only has Planned Parenthood endorsed Mayor Parker as a "lifelong supporter of Planned Parenthood's mission," but Ms. Parker's 22-year life partner is campaign treasurer for Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast.
The abortion connection is relevant not just as a standalone fact. Its importance is elevated due to the recent discovery of Gosnell-style horrors at Dr. Douglas Karpen's Houston women's clinic. Karpen is accused of one-upping Gosnell with his specially developed "twist off babies' heads" technique.
In the case of Gosnell, we saw fellow abortionists circle the wagons. NARAL's response was particularly galling. If Houstonians have a real interest in getting to the bottom of the Karpen case and preventing future atrocities in their city, Parker's allegiances must be considered. There are many ways to impede an investigation of Karpen, if one be predisposed to do so.
Parker's WSJ comments serve to remind us that with both gay marriage advocates and pro-abortionists, there is no neutral. The war is always being waged, even if surreptitiously. Houston voters should consider Ms. Parker's proactive stances before they add one more achievement to her political résumé.