Tuesday, March 18, 2008


At least 300 people protested today at the state Capitol of Oklahoma today. Representing multitudes more who found the incredible and hateful anti-gay comments of state Rep. Sally Kern way beyond the pale, they wanted at least an apology.

The demonstration was organized by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - PFLAG - and included a number of area church leaders.

The Tulsa World reporting on the gathering quoted Robin Meyers, senior minister at Mayflower Congregational Church who said Kern's homophobic comments are a "national embarrassment for Oklahoma."

"It is frightening to me that Sally Kern is an elected official doing the people's business," he said.

Kern (pictured here) made the remarks in a speech to a small gathering but did not know they were being recorded. The tape fell into the hands of The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund which then posted it on the video sharing site YouTube.

In the speech Kern said gays have become more dangerous to the American way of life than terrorists.

"The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation; it's just a fact," Kern went on to say in the speech.

"I'm not gay bashing, but according to God's word that is not the right kind of lifestyle," she said. "It has deadly consequences."

Kern then declared that "Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than a few decades."

A statement from PFLAG released at the rally read:

“Every Oklahoman, and every American, deserves a public servant who believes in the dignity of all our children and who refuses to take part in divisive and counter-productive attacks on our families”

“Her remarks disrespect our GLBT loved ones, dishonor the service of nearly 10,000 lesbian and gay veterans in Oklahoma and disregard her duty to uphold our country’s most noble values. Representative Kern owes her constituents an explanation, and our families an apology."

While the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is examining the emails and has said that charges could be laid, the state legislature to date has done nothing.

The following is from OK.com

Hundreds gather to protest Kern's comments

About 300 people gathered during the noon hour today at the state Capitol to ask state Rep. Sally Kern to apologize for calling homosexuality the biggest threat to America.

The Rev. Jim Shields, a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Kern's district that covers parts of west Oklahoma City and Bethany, called on the Republican legislator to hold meetings in the district to talk with gays and Muslims.

If Kern doesn't do those things, then she should resign, said the Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards, assistant pastor of the Open Arms United Church of Christ and president of the Oklahoma City chapter of PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Kern, a Republican, was not in the Capitol during the 40-minute event in the first-floor rotunda. The House adjourned about 10 a.m. after a one-hour session today.

No state representatives were seen at the rally. Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, watched for a while from the second floor.

Someone taped a speech Kern made in January to a Republican club in Oklahoma City and sent it to a national gay rights group. Kern said earlier that the speech was about 30 minutes; a segment of about three minutes was posted about 10 days ago on YouTube.

Since then, about 1 million people have played the comments.

Kern's legislative assistant said today the legislator has received about 26,000 e-mails since her comments were posted on the Internet.

Her comments include calling homosexuality "the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam."

"The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation; it's just a fact," Kern is heard saying on the YouTube clip.

Rob Howard, executive director of the Cimarron Alliance Foundation, an Oklahoma City group, asked House Speaker Chris Benge to demand that Kern apologize and that the Legislature act on four comprehensive hate crimes bills that failed to advance out of committee.

Benge, R-Tulsa, said last week he has no plans to punish Kern, saying Kern has a right to express her opinion.

Howard said freedom of speech does not belong to just Kern.

"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has the right to disagree publicly with Sally Kern," he said. "In fact, it is our moral imperative."

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