The City of Houston officially has a new mayor as of Saturday.
Annise Parker was sworn in as Mayor of Houston in a private ceremony at City Hall, making Houston the largest U.S. city to ever have an openly gay individual serve as mayor.
With her hand on her grandparents’ bible, held by her partner, Kathy Hubbard, State District Judge Steven Kirkland administered the oath to Mayor Parker.
During inaugural festivities planned for Monday, the new mayor will take the oath again at a public ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at downtown’s Wortham Theater Center.
The City Charter mandates the transfer of power occur on January 2, so Parker opted for a private Saturday morning ceremony followed by a formal public inaugural on Monday to avoid the overtime costs the city would have incurred from having to call in police and other city employees for a weekend inauguration.
Parker becomes the highest-ranking municipal official in the LGBTQ community in the United States.
Parker and her partner have been together since 1990. They have three adopted children.