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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Proclamations of the Red Queen

29th March 2008


Posted by: Craig Young

In the United States  at the moment, there’s a major controversy over Oklahoma Republican state legislator,who made the following remarks to a group of fundamentalist Christians. It should be noted that Rep. Kern is married to a (fundamentalist) Southern Baptist minister, and is herself a Southern Baptist:

“Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades. So it’s the death knell of this country. I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam — which I think is a big threat, OK? Cause what’s happening now is they are going after, in schools, two-year olds…And this stuff is deadly, and it’s spreading, and it will destroy our young people, it will destroy this nation.”

Kern found herself under fire after one US LGBT rights organisation, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, posted the above diatribe on Youtube. She  has refused to apologise for her incendiary, homophobic remarks: “I said nothing that was not true” and refused to apologize to either Oklahoma’s LGBT community, or to upset relatives of those who had lost family members due to right-wing terrorist Timothy McVey’s attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City during the mid-nineties.

 Kern was applauded by fellow Oklahoma Republican legislators at a private caucus meeting. In response to Kern’s comments, there was an LGBT rights rally at the Oklahoma state legislature building on March 18.

In some fundamentalist and social conservative media outlets, Kern has claimed  to have received death threats which caused her to retain personal protection against possible attackers. If this is true, I am sure that most LGBT Oklahomans and Americans would deplore the situation, given how many times that we ourselves have been subjected to hate crimes provoked precisely by her sort of rhetoric. Harrassment and threats of violence against anyone should never be countenanced.

However,  the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has  reviewed Kern’s emails and one responsible official said:  ”I wouldn’t characterize them as death threats.”  Kern is being represented by the conservative Catholic, antigay Thomas More Law Centre on this issue, and responded that [Kern] “has received over 27,000 vulgar, hate filled e-mails, her life has been threatened, her son falsely accused of being a homosexual and her financial supporters contacted and asked to no longer support her.” Moreover, TMLC also alleges that  ”a leading homosexual activist entered her husband’s church last Sunday and took notes on her husband’s sermon.”

Kern has also alienated families of victims of the  Oklahoma City terrorist bombing. One horrified teenager who lost his mother at that time expressed outrage at Kern’s comments: “Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother’s killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.”

Reference: Sally Kern’s original message is shown below…

Tags: Politics · Religion

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 James Nimmo // Mar 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Why do you yell fire in a crowded theater?
    — an open letter to Rep. Sally Kern

    Mrs. Kern:

    I’ve just listened to the 20-minute interview you had with OKC’s channel 9 in regard to the public speech you made sometime after the first of the year deriding and demeaning Oklahoma’s gay/lesbian taxpaying citizens.

    The real danger is not whether being gay/lesbian is more of a threat than terrorism or the Islamic religion. I think the real danger is you as a legislator standing on the soapbox paid for by the taxpayer and denouncing honest, hardworking Oklahomans as inferior to you and your acquaintances.

    You keep referring to the home, the family, and traditional marriage as being threatened by gay people who want the same things for their families that you already have. Do you feel there is a shortage of love and commitment and it must be rationed to only people who act and think as you do?

    Why are you not introducing bills that would eliminate divorce? Divorce is the opposite of marriage and frequently causes distress to children yet what are you doing about this refutation of traditional marriage?

    You couch your diatribes in terms of the First Amendment guarantee of free speech but you fail to back them up with specific references to peer-reviewed studies or professionally-qualified experts.

    I feel this is the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater.

    Yes, you can say these things, but as a legislator you owe to your constituents as well as those hearing you to base your remarks on facts and not your superstitions.

    James Nimmo
    Oklahoma City, OK

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