Rob Frydlewicz: Paris Elects a Gay Mayor, March 18, 2001

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Bertrand delanoe gay mayor paris.jpg

In 2001, in the span of just three months, two openly gay candidates were elected mayors of "world class" European cities.

First, Bertrand Delanoe was elected mayor of Paris on March 18. This made Paris (population of 2.1 million) the largest city in the world with a gay mayor.

Then in June voters in Berlin (population of 3.4 million) took that distinction away from Paris when it elected its own gay mayor, 47-year old Klaus Wowereit. Coincidentally, the German city of Hamburg also elected a gay mayor that same year. Both Delanoe and Wowereit are presently serving their second terms.

Eighteen months after his election Delanoe was stabbed in the stomach as he walked through a street festival by a Muslim immigrant with homophobic views. After surgery Delanoe remained in the hospital for two weeks. This happened a week before I arrived in Paris for my first visit.

Annise parker.jpg

In 2009 Houston became the first U.S. city with 1 million+ residents to elect a gay mayor -- lesbian Anisse Parker. Before that the largest U.S. cities with gay mayors had been Portland, Oregon and Providence, Rhode Island.

For more posts like this, Rob also has a blog called ZeitGayst

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