An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has turned on local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) she met with last week.
Representative Sally Kern received international attention after her homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTube earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.
She met with Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards, Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie and Rev. Jim Shields of PFLAG last Thursday.
Both sides described the encounter as polite and cordial.
“We appreciate Representative Kern taking the time to meet with us and consider an important, ongoing dialogue about our families and loved ones,” PFLAG’s Oklahoma City chapter President Loyce Newton-Edwards said after the meeting.
“Representative Kern expressed a commendable desire to consider every family, every Oklahoman, and every constituent.
“Today she took an important first step forward that, we hope, will be the beginning of many conversations with our families and our community.”
Yet just hours after the meeting, she said she was being misrepresented.
She told The Oklahoman:
“(PFLAG) have taken my statements and have spun them to make it appear that I am backing off my comments that homosexuality is a sin.
“As a Christian who believes in the authority of God’s word, I will never retract my comments that homosexuality is a sin.”
PFLAG denied any such misrepresentation, but Kern was on the attack.
The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee rallied to her defence, calling the three PFLAG representatives “false prophets” and “phoney clergy” who “want to destroy Representative Kern and make an example of her.”
Now Kern has written a rambling letter to a local newspaper, citing research into homosexuality conducted in the early 1950s and stating:
“Homosexuals are already citizens who have equal rights. They want “special rights” for the acceptance of their deviant lifestyle.
“I’m thankful that Oklahoma is different than California and New York. I pray it stays that way.”
As a result of the media storm surrounding her comments her son has been forced to deny he is gay after news reports he was censured while at college for repeatedly cruising for sex in toilets.
In her original comments 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 and it’s spreading, and it will destroy our young people,” Kern said.
“It will destroy this nation.”
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.
In her short time in the House she has built a reputation for homophobia.
Two years ago she sponsored legislation compelling libraries to move “gay themed” books to adult sections.
“If we expose children to sexual material without parental knowledge and guidance, we’re programming them for destruction,” she said.