Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern will face a challenge in November elections after an audio recording was leaked of her comparing gays to terrorists and telling fellow Republicans the “homosexual agenda is destroying this nation.”
The recording and accompanying YouTube video have sparked outrage from many, but Kern defended her words, telling the press: “What I’m saying, I believe in.”
The Demcratic party has announced that Ron Marlett, a 59-year-old social worker, will challenge Kern for the Oklahoma City seat in the state House of Representatives in November’s election.
In 2004 Kern was elected for the first time with 67.65% of the vote.
Her Democrat opponent, Ronald E. Wasson, won 4,215 votes or 32.35%.
In 2006 she ran unopposed.
The YouTube video posted earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund featured Kern speaking out against gays to a group of Republicans who had invited her to express her views about homosexuality.
Her supporters claim she has been subject to death threats, something denied by state police.
She claims to have been sent more than 27,000 “vulgar” emails. Her son has denied he is gay after news reports he was censured while at college for cruising for sex in toilets.
Kern accused homosexuals of pushing a “gay agenda” and trying to “indoctrinate” children as young as two years old through tolerance education and gay-straight alliances.
“This stuff, it’s deadly,” Kern says, “and it’s spreading, and it will destroy our young people. It will destroy this nation.”
A staunch Christian, Kern says in the speech that “Not everybody’s lifestyle is equal, just like not all religions are equal” and believes gays are an even bigger threat than “terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat.”
Kern’s comments have caused outrage across America, but perhaps more damaging were the comments of a teenager who lost her mother in the domestic terrorist attack on federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
“I’ve spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me,” wrote Tucker.
“I’ve been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels.
“You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?
“Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They’ve already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names.
“I wish you could’ve met my mom. Maybe she could’ve guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.
“I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won’t be there.
“I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don’t want to be here for that. I just can’t go through that again.”
Ms Kern, 61, refuses to apologise.
“The homosexual agenda is real, the movement is aggressive, and it is a very real threat to the sacred institution of marriage and the traditional family unit,” she said last week.
While claiming gays “have every right to choose that lifestyle,” Kern says “I do not have to agree with it and speaking against it is not hate speech.”