Chuck Wolfe

Historic night for the south

Filed By Chuck Wolfe | May 07, 2008 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: Alabama, gay politics, gay rights, hate crimes against LGBT people, Lawrence Webb, Patricia Todd, Victory Fund, Virginia

While the presidential primary race is drawing this morning's big headlines, last night was also remarkable for two other exciting political achievements. Falls Church, Virginia voters elected Lawrence Webb to their city council, making him the state's first openly gay African-American elected official. Lawrence ran a fantastic campaign, our donors stepped up, and Victory Fund staff were on the ground before the sun rose yesterday morning to help turn out voters. In the end, Lawrence won by just 39 votes.

In Alabama yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill adding sexual orientation to the state's hate crime laws. That's pretty astonishing, but even more important is the reason for the one-vote margin of victory: a Republican member who has become friends with Rep. Patricia Todd, the legislature's sole openly gay member, crossed party lines to vote with the Democrats. The bill may not get through the Senate this year, but the progress is undeniable, and having an openly LGBT legislator made a huge difference.

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Thanks for all that you do, Chuck, to ensure that LGBT candidates get elected. Can I ask why Victory Fund declined to endorse Jim Neal - a fellow Bilerico contributor?

Awesome work! We need more queers in government!

Sally Kern's right - we are going to take it all over!