Alabama's first openly gay legislator bid farewell to the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening.
Representative Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Birmingham, will not seek re-election after serving 12 years in the state House.
Todd said on the House floor that her colleagues are "incredible, beautiful people" who all treated her with equality, even though some she thought she "would never get along with or like."
Todd sponsored controversial failed legislation this session including a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and adding sexual orientation as a protected category under hate crime law. She hopes she "opened up some hearts and minds" and says she won't be the last gay legislator in Alabama. A gay former Marine is one candidate running for her seat.
Todd received a standing ovation after her speech in the House.