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Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern opposes job discrimination, meets with PFLAG parents

by Nick Langewis

Hosting a group of parents from Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in her office at the state capitol today, Oklahoma House Rep. Sally Kern has taken a stand opposing discrimination against gays in the workplace. The embattled lawmaker is also considering another meeting with more PFLAG parents at their local chapter, sources tell PageOneQ.

Rep. Kern has been under worldwide public scrutiny since a recent speech she made to a private group was recorded, with portions being posted to the Internet by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and full audio later posted by The Oklahoman. In the speech, Kern expressed worries of the "gay agenda," pointing to what she saw as infiltration of schools and political offices by gays, as an indicator that a nation "founded on Christian principles" was headed for destruction. Rep. Kern specifically called out Colorado's philanthropic "Gang of Four" as an example of pro-LGBT money being used to participate in the political process and further the "gay agenda." The "Gang of Four" consist of Gill Foundation founder Tim Gill, entrepreneur and Democratic Congressional hopeful Jared Polis, heiress Pat Stryker and businessman Rutt Bridges.

Prior to today's meeting, Rep. Kern expressed that she saw the "gay agenda" as a bigger threat to the United States than international terrorism, and used an analogy suggesting that such an agenda needed to be caught early and treated like one would treat cancer.

Kern has stood by her remarks and secured legal counsel after receiving thousands of phone calls and e-mails from members of the public. Most recently, she appeared on KFOR-TV's "Flash Point" to clarify her remarks, defend her stance and debate openly gay pastor Dr. Scott Jones of Oklahoma City's Cathedral of Hope.

PFLAG is a national advocacy and support group for LGBT people and their allies, with local chapters nationwide. The organization got its start in 1972 after Jeanne Manford witnessed her gay son beaten at a gay rights rally, as indifferent police officers looked on. Enraged, Manford went on to march with her son two months later in New York's Pride Day Parade, where she would be urged by other parade attendees to reach out to their parents. By March of 1973, the first meeting of what would later become PFLAG convened, with about 20 people attending, at a local church.


Originally published on Thursday March 27, 2008.

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