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Out Alabama Rep. Patricia Todd responds to Dem state party chair's gay-baiting remarks

This is why the folks in Alabama House District 54 should be proud that Patricia Todd (D), the first openly gay elected official in the state, is their representative. State Democratic Party chair Joe Turnham recently attempted to get in a political dig at the GOP chair Mike Hubbard, and he resorted to gay-baiting:

“He has gun control in New York with Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney with gay marriage in Massachusetts….He shouldn’t be taking shots at Howard Dean.”

He was referring to a visit to the state by Howard Dean and John Edwards. He did it again in an official state party message:

After Alabama Repubs have filibustered 27 straight legislative days away and after the Repub Party has welcomed ‘pro-abortion, pro-gay, anti-gun’ Rudy and Mitt to Alabama…what do they do but pull that same ‘old play card’ on us today…never mind the deficits (trade and budget), Iraq, Drought, Gas Prices…

While I’m sure he thought this was a way to appeal to the good old boy vote, Rep. Todd politely reminded Joe Turnham, who helped Todd in her hard-fought battle to win her seat, that this kind of appeal is both uncalled for and unnecessary. He can do better than this. Read her letter after the flip. Via Atomic Gay Wonk:

Joe:

I am writing to express my concern about your comments regarding gay marriage during Gov. Dean’s visit to Alabama. As you can image, I have received numerous emails about the comment and many LBGT and our supporters are angered by implying that our civil right to marry is NOT supported by the Democratic Party.

These sort of “off the cuff” remarks are harmful to our ability to recruit progressive thinkers to our party base and also hurts Stonewall’s ability to raise money for the party and our candidates.

You and I have had numerous conversations regarding my frustration with the party trying to out maneuver the Republicans on social issues. I understand the need for a “moderate” approach in Alabama, but is it really worth bashing a group of supporters to look more conservative? Why even respond to Rep. Hubbard’s remarks at all? The Republican Chair’s remarks were so reactionary that they needed no response. The Republicans are obviously threatened by Gov. Dean’s visit.

I am a firm supporter of the Democratic Party and the issues we support nationally. I am willing to discuss this further at your convenience and stand ready to develop fair solutions to build a stronger party.

Sincerely,

Patricia Todd

* Rep. Todd’s home page
* House  home page

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