Equality North Carolina executive director Ian Palmquist announced Monday that openly lesbian Houston Mayor Annise Parker would join his organization as keynote speaker at their 2010 Equality Conference.
The event, slated for Nov. 13 at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, will be the fourth time Equality North Carolina has held their conference. An evening gala will also be held.
“We’re thrilled that Houston Mayor Annise Parker will join us on Saturday, November 13 to share her experience as the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. city with over a million residents,” Palmquist said in an email to members and supporters. “Mayor Parker has been open and honest about her sexual orientation throughout her political career. She and her partner, Kathy Hubbard have been together since 1990 and have two children.”
Parker, elected in 2009, heads up the largest U.S. city with an openly gay or lesbian mayor. Prior to her election, she served on the city council from 1997 to 2003 and as city controller from 2004 to 2009. She was named among Time Magazine‘s Time 100 for 2010.
Palmquist added, “We think her experience working for change and for the good of all her constituents in a tough political environment has valuable lessons for us here in North Carolina, and we can’t wait to see her.”