Houston Mayor Annise Parker champions freedom to marry on The Colbert Report

Last night, Houston mayor Annise Parker, one of the chairs of our Mayors for the Freedom to Marry campaign, was a featured guest on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert. She spoke about her partner, why marriage matters, and referenced the 250 other mayors who stand with her in advocating for the freedom to marry.

Mayor Parker is the first openly gay mayor of a major city in the United States - a fact that Colbert, a comedian who spoofs right-wing news commentators with his often ridiculous comedy, marvels at. How, Colbert wonders, did Texas become the first large city to elect a gay leader?

Mayor Parker explained that the success was a quiet revolution, of sorts. She said:

I was a lesbian activist before I became mayor ... [and] Houston elected me six times before they elected me mayor - and they knew every time. I'm good at what I do. Houston is very tolerant of a lot of things - they want to know what you can do, not who you are, where you're from. They want to know what you bring to the table.

Colbert turned the conversation to the freedom to marry, inquiring about Mayor Parker's romantic life. She explained that she has been with her partner Kathy - the First Lady of Houston - for 21 years, but that they're not allowed to marry in the state. Mayor Parker does joke to Colbert, however, that, "I could get married to you if you weren't already married." Mayor Parker referenced our Mayors for the Freedom to Marry campaign, discussing our recent landmark success of having 250 mayors sign on. She said she disagreed with Texas' policy on marriage and added:

There are more than 250 other mayors in America who feel exactly the same way that I do, and now our president feels we should have equal marriage rights as well.

Last week, we hit the 250 mark of mayors who have signed onto the campaign. Since then, several other leaders have expressed their support, pushing the campaign over 250 and demonstrating the wide and powerful range of people throughout the United States who support marriage for same-sex couples. The entire list of pro-marriage mayors is here. Some of the biggest cities in the country - and some of the most rural towns - are represented on this list, and Freedom to Marry is proud to see such broad and over-arching support for loving and committed same-sex couples. 

Check out Mayor Annise Parker's appearance on The Colbert Report here at Comedy Central.