Alabama was set to elect its first openly gay state representative this fall, after Patricia Todd won the primary for a safe Birmingham seat the GOP wasn't even contesting. But Todd is being knocked out of the race by… quick, guess. An injunction by Roy Moore? Pat Robertson's glutamine-powered mindwaves? No, by a power broker in her own Democratic party.
On Thursday, a Democratic Party subcommittee heard a challenge to Ms.
Todd's candidacy on the ground that she had violated a rule that, by
party officials' own admission, has not been enforced in nearly 20
years. The subcommittee voted to disqualify both Ms. Todd and her
runoff opponent, a black businesswoman named Gaynell Hendricks, because
neither had complied with the rule.
When Ms. Todd and Ms. Hendricks wound up in a runoff, things got nasty,
by both sides' reckoning. Anonymous fliers circulated calling Ms. Todd
a "confessed lesbian" and applying racial slurs to Ms. Hendricks. The
two primary opponents who threw their support to Ms. Todd woke to find
signs in their yards accusing them of being "Uncle Toms," said one of
them, Charlie L. Williams.
The district's voters stood athwart this wave of bigotry and shouted "stop!" One of their fellow Democrats was shouting something else entirely.