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Alabama’s first gay legislator bids farewell to House

By MALLORY MOENCH, The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s first openly gay legislator bid farewell to the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening. Rep. Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Birmingham, will not seek re-election after serving 12 years.

Todd said on the House floor that her colleagues are “incredible, beautiful people” who all treated her with equality, even though some she thought she “would never get along with or like.”

Todd sponsored controversial failed legislation including decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and adding sexual orientation as a protected category under hate crime law. She said she hoped she “opened up some hearts and minds” and wouldn’t be the last gay legislator. A gay former Marine is one candidate running for her seat.

Todd received a standing ovation after her speech in the House.

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