Alabama State Rep. Patricia Todd has said that she is planning a legal challenge to the state's ban on gay marriage.

Todd, who in 2006 became the state's first openly gay elected official, announced her plans while speaking at the Madison County Democratic Party Headquarters in Huntsville.

She said that the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) opens the door for gay couples to challenge laws limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.

“There's so many ways we could challenge this,” Todd said. “Health insurance benefits. We could go try to get a marriage license and be denied, and challenge it.”

Todd and her partner previously announced plans to marry in September in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay nuptials.

“Alabama has an opportunity to step forward instead of stepping backwards and I hope we take that opportunity,” she added. “It's not gonna be easy. We're making progress in the polls with the amount of people who are comfortable with this. We still have a way to go. We still have to have discussions with people to open up their hearts and minds about this. For us, it's about love and commitment. It's about love and commitment. All we want to do is go to the courthouse and get a marriage license.”

Eighty-one percent of Alabama voters in 2006 approved Amendment 774, which prohibits the state from recognizing the unions of gay and lesbian couples.