By Mallory Moench
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s first brazenly homosexual lawmaker and early medical marijuana supporter will head an LGBTQ coalition in Florida after her retirement this yr.
Democratic Rep. Patricia Todd from Birmingham has accepted a job as the chief director of One Orlando Alliance, a coalition of LGBTQ organizations shaped after the PULSE homosexual nightclub capturing in 2016.
“It’s the perfect match,” Todd informed The Associated Press. “I love Alabama. Only an experience like this would take me away from here.”
In her new position, Todd will coordinate the 30 organizations within the coalition and practice advocates based mostly on her 12 years working as a lawmaker within the Alabama House of Representatives.
She stated her foremost objective shall be to “continue to work to make sure we never have a PULSE tragedy again, that the queer community knows that we work to make sure every space is safe.”
A local of Kentucky, Todd has lived in Alabama since 1984. She constructed a profession in activism earlier than becoming a member of the legislature, heading human rights campaigns and organizations preventing towards AIDs.
Over her 12 years as a legislator, Todd helped to move a regulation to permit marijuana-derived medicine for treating extreme seizures. She unsuccessfully pushed to decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana, absolutely legalize medical marijuana and add sexual orientation as a protected class underneath the state’s hate crime regulation.
Todd stated that she has advised homosexual political candidates across the nation that she was handled like anybody else within the Alabama legislature. Her colleagues gave her a standing ovation on the finish of this yr’s session.
“I have learned so much by being in the legislature,” Todd stated. “It has made me a better advocate. I hope I’ve opened up some hearts and minds here and I look forward to the next adventure.”
Todd is supporting two different brazenly homosexual candidates operating for the Alabama Legislature in 2018. Neil Rafferty, a homosexual former Marine who works with Birmingham AIDS Outreach, is considered one of three Democrats who’re operating for Todd’s seat. Todd can also be supporting homosexual Democratic businesswoman Felicia Stewart, who’s operating towards incumbent Rep. David Faulkner, a Republican, in one of many state’s wealthiest suburbs.
Todd retires in November, when her time period ends. She will transfer together with her spouse to Orlando in a pair months.