Controversy brewing over endorsement

HOUSTON Reverend Robert Gilmore with the Real Urban Ministry, issued a press release Monday, calling for voters to stand up as Christians and vote for Locke, a reference, says Reverend Gilmore, to Parkers openly gay lifestyle. A retraction to the press release was issued later Monday.

The controversy stems from a November 22 published Houston Chronicle endorsement of Annise Parker for Houston mayor.

"The issue is the Houston Chronicle endorsing this person and they had previously endorsed both candidates," said Reverend Gilmore. "What are they trying to tell everybody? To chose the lifestyle?''

Reverend Gilmore, who does not have a church, says he is part of a larger group of local black preachers challenging the Chronicle's endorsement of Parker.

"Well, a number of Christians do a problem with her lifestyle. There is no question about that," he said. "All Christians should have a problem with that because that is something that Christians do not believe it.''

The Parker campaign chose not to comment about the lifestyle issue. Opponent Gene Locke did the same.

"I'm going to stay above that," said Locke. "And anybody who's supporting me, I ask to take my lead and take the same high road and let's move on.''

Our legal analyst, Dr. Richard Murray questions the effectiveness of the lifestyle issue, saying, "A backfire could happen if this blast at the Houston Chronicle newspaper endorsement and the lifestyle over leadership theme drives more white voters to Annise Parker than black voters to Gene Locke.''

Voters we talked to weren't swayed by the lifestyle issue.

"I have my definite opinion of how my spirituality is and it does not have anything to do with judging a person," said voter Eunice Flowers.

"It's their opinion, not my opinion," added voter Zanny Kendrick. "I stand firm for what I believe in.''

The ministers listed in the earlier press release issued a retraction, saying the email was an error and it's unfortunate, it goes on to say, that such a misrepresentation of a meeting about the betterment of our city has been made. It was signed by the ministers in the email, as well as Locke.

Still undecided on who you want to be our next mayor? Locke and Parker face off Tuesday in our studios for a live debate at 8pm. If you have a question you would like asked, you can submit it here.

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