Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rep. Patricia Todd responds to Alabama Democratic Party Chair Joe Turnham

As reported earlier this week, Alabama Democratic Party Chair Joe Turnham responded to attacks against DNC Chair Howard Dean by the head of the Alabama GOP with comments that amounted to gay-baiting (see here and here).

State Representative Patricia Todd, Alabama's only out elected public official, has written this thoughtful and direct letter to Mr. Turnham expressing concern about his comments:


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.


Patricia Todd

Readers may continue to send polite but firm messages to Mr. Turnham about his comments here, and supportive messages to Rep. Todd here.

Since Mr. Turnham made his comments in the context of visits by Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean and presidential candidate John Edwards, messages may be sent to them asking that they disassociate themselves from Mr. Turnham's comments:
Howard Dean at the DNC
John Edwards campaign

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