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Alabama's first openly lesbian to ever be elected to the legislature will sue to overturn the state's ban on same sex marriage. Rep. Patricia Todd knows the state's political leaders aren't about grant her and her partner the right to marry through new legislation.

Alabama House member says only way to achieve civil rights progress in her state is through courts.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The first openly gay lawmaker in Alabama history said she plans to challenge the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

"The reality is, unfortunately in Alabama, the only way we ever progress any civil rights in this state is through a court decision," said Rep. Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Birmingham, Ala. "This is no different. We will have to use that process and move forward."

Todd, who plans to marry her partner Sept. 14 in Massachusetts, said she expects a number of lawsuits in states where gay marriage is banned. Excluding California, whose constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage was overturned as a result of a Supreme Court decision Wednesday, 29 states, including Alabama, have banned same-sex marriage in their constitutions. Five other states have laws prohibiting it.

"The court really did open it up for us to have legal standing to challenge these," she said.

States with bans and prohibitions on same sex marriage can look forward to a swarm of expensive lawsuits, that now looks like these states may well lose in the end.  Maybe someone with a better legal background than I have can speak to that in a comment.

I am in awe of people who like Patricia Todd have the courage to stand up and assert their rights to equal treatment, even in places where the regional culture is saturated in Christian Fundamentalism, the way it is in Alabama. That takes considerable courage and lots of resolve.

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