Back in 2001, in the space of just three months, two openly gay candidates were elected mayors of "world class" European cities. First, 50-year-old Bertrand Delanoe (pictured, near right) was elected mayor of Paris on March 18. This made Paris (with a population of 2.1 million) the largest city in the world with a gay mayor. Then in June voters in Berlin (population 3.4 million) took that distinction away from Paris when it elected its very own gay mayor, 47-year-old Klaus Wowereit (far right). Both Delanoe and Wowereit are presently serving second terms. (Coincidentally, the German city of Hamburg also elected a gay mayor that very same year.)
18 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 he remained in the hospital nearly two weeks. (This happened a week before I arrived in Paris for my first visit.)
And then 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.
(I've written a previous post about Palm Springs' gay mayor, Ron Oden: "Gay Resort Elects Gay Mayor".)