The vote count is final: When the Alabama state legislature convenes its next session, Ms. Patricia Todd, an openly gay woman, will be representing the state's 54th District (Birmingham).
Patricia Todd made history Tuesday when voters in Alabama's 54th legislative district voted to send the Democrat to the State House, marking the first time ever that legislature will include an openly gay Representative. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation's largest gay and lesbian political action committee, endorsed Todd and helped raise tens of thousands of dollars from its national network of donors to help fund her campaign. Todd has no Republican opponent in the general election in November.
The vote was extremely close (less than 100 votes before provisional ballots were counted), but Alabama just elected a gay woman to its legislature.
Patricia Todd, 50, associate director of AIDS Alabama, appeared to have defeated Gaynell Hendricks, 55, owner of the Wee Care Academy. With only provisional ballots remaining uncounted, Todd had 1,173 votes, 51 percent, to Hendricks’ 1,114, or 49 percent.
“We are confident that the numbers are confirmed and that I won fair and square,” Todd said. “The people have spoken, and now it’s time to unite the district.”
Forty five years ago, Birmingham was called "Bombingham" for a spate of terrorist attacks aimed at keeping the races separate. Dr. King penned one of his most famous letters from the Birmingham Jail...
One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face Jeering, and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy-two-year-old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Times, indeed, are changing.
Congratulations to a real hero.
Congratulations, Ms. Todd.
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