By: Amanda Terkel for www.huffingtonpost.com
Alabama state Rep. Patricia Todd (D) is frustrated by her colleagues’ moral hypocrisy. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
WASHINGTON — Alabama’s only openly gay legislator is putting her anti-gay colleagues on notice: If they keep espousing family values rhetoric as a reason to oppose marriage equality, she’ll start making their marital infidelities public.
“I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have,” wrote state Rep. Patricia Todd (D) on Facebook over the weekend, as reported by the TimesDaily in Alabama. “I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet out.”
Todd’s post came after a federal judge ruled Friday that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. She told The Huffington Post that she decided to issue her threat after reading some of the anti-gay rhetoric coming from certain elected officials in the state.
“If certain people come out and start espousing this rhetoric about family values, then I will say, ‘Let’s talk about family values, because here’s what I heard.’ I don’t have direct knowledge, because obviously I’m not the other person involved in the affair. But one thing you would never hear about me is that I ever cheated on a partner or had an affair,” said Todd.
“One thing I’m pretty consistent on is I do not like hypocrites,” she added. “If you can explain your position and you hold yourself to the same standard you want to hold me to, then fine. But you cannot go out there and smear my community by condemning us and somehow making us feel less than, and expect me to be quiet.”
On Sunday night, U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade issued a two-week stay on her ruling, meaning that same-sex couples will have to wait a bit longer to wed. Her order gives the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals until Feb. 9 to decide whether to continue the delay. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) said he would have preferred a stay until the spring or summer, when the Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of marriage equality nationwide.
If Granade’s ruling is upheld, Alabama will be the 37th state to legalize marriage equality.
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GAY 50 COMMENTARY: Whenever I hear someone threatening to “out” another person, the hair on the back of my neck stands on end. While Rep. Todd states she doesn’t like hypocrites, many of us have the same feelings about someone who would “out” another person for their own gain.
Ms. Todd is nothing more than a bully, her tactics are no better than those who hide behind their “family values” banner. When someone is elected into public office, their role is to be convincing in their argument and beliefs. If Rep. Todd doesn’t have the ability to convince her colleagues through her argument, passion and beliefs, I would argue the people who elected her have been ill-served.
Outing someone is never acceptable. Bullying is disgraceful. Rep. Patricia Todd is guilty of both.
As a community it is time we stood up for the rights of every American, not just those who have the same beliefs we do. It is important that we use our votes to influence change, for years we have fought against people “outing” us, now we must use that same passion to protect the privacy of others.
The people of Alabama, the gay community and the colleagues Patricia Todd serve with deserve better. Her tactics are no better than the schoolyard bully and her message is no different from the bigot.
Note to Rep. Patricia Todd, before you cast that stone, make sure the windows in your own glass house are tempered.