Todd_1 As an out lesbian, Patricia Todd knew she'd have a tough time running for a seat in the Alabama legislature. What she didn't expect, though, was the flak she's getting for something else: being white.

Todd won the Democratic primary runoff last month (but only by 59 votes, which she's going to have to defend to the state Dem Party; the hearing was supposed to be yesterday but has been delayed until next week).

Anyway, it's important because there's no Republican challenger. If Todd's narrow win survives state party review, she'll be the first openly gay legislator in Bama history.

But the sticking point doesn't seem to be the gay thing.  It seems to be the white thing.

Todd's would-be district is a majority-black area of Birmingham that includes the city's richest and poorest neighborhoods. Todd says she's worried that the racial politics of the region are going to prevent her from getting a fair hearing next week.

This all says something about Southern politics, but I'm not sure what.  Is it progress that the campaign's not centering on the fact that Todd's gay? Or regress that it might be centering on her skin color?