Monday, January 21, 2008

Lesbian political bombs dropped
in Cambridge and Houston

San Francisco – The New Year definitely started off with a political bang in

Massachusetts and Texas. In a historical move earlier this week, Cambridge elected the Unites State's first black lesbian mayor and Houston elected a lesbian for vice mayor for the second time.

Out black lesbian
E. Denise Simmons (D) broke yet another glass ceiling Monday after the election was delayed for a week after the City Council “deadlocked” January 7 when votes were first cast for the ivy league city’s mayor.

“It feels really great,” Simmons told the
Cambridge Chronicle January 14. “When I first came to the School Committee, one of the things I always said was that I wanted to be mayor.”

Simmons, 56, a nine year veteran of Cambridge’s city council takes the mayor’s office held by outgoing three terms black openly gay mayor Ken Reeves, reported the Advocate. And she is the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor since Sheila Russell reported the Cambridge Chronicle. Russell held the office from 1996-1997, according to the local newspaper.

"We are enormously proud of Mayor Simmons,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and chief executive officer of the
Victory Fund, in a January 16 press release. “Like Mayor Ken Reeves before her, she is among our community's trailblazers. Today is a day to celebrate another broken glass ceiling."

While Cambridge deadlocked on Simmons, Houston’s City Council elected openly lesbian City Councilmember
Sue Lovell (D) January 2 to her second term as vice mayor pro tem.

This win is a morale booster for the Texas gay and lesbian community after the state overwhelmingly adopted an anti-gay state amendment last month,” the Democratic Party congratulated Lovell on her election in an undated statement that referred to her second term as vice mayor.

Elections were tight for both women, according to news reports, but in the end they were unanimously elected to their positions by their City Councils. Both Cambridge’s and Houston’s mayors and vice mayors are elected by its City Council.

Both women were supported by the
Victory Fund.

What do you think? Is this the year of queer women and women in general politically?

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