Old dogs can learn new tricks. Infamously anti-gay lawmaker Sally Kern today with the folks at PFLAG and they apparently made her realize that we gays aren’t terrorist demon spawns. Via PageOneQ:
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…
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.
This is incredible, especially considering Kern defended herself just last weekend. It’s worth noting that Kern did not apologize, according to a PFLAG press release, which we’ve included after the jump.
It should be interesting to hear what Kern has to say to the anti-gay kids of University of Central Oklahoma’s College Republicans. Someone bring a tape recorder.
Oklahoma City PFLAG Supporters Meet with Sally Kern
Lawmaker Agrees Gays Should Not Be Fired Because of Sexual Orientation
Oklahoma City, OK – Members and allies of the Oklahoma City Chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) met earlier today with Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern to express concern about her recent comments comparing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to a “cancer” that “is just destroying this nation.” Kern also referred to GLBT Americans as “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism.”
Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards, president of the Oklahoma City PFLAG chapter, was joined in the meeting by Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie, pastor of the Church of the Open Arms and Rev. Jim Shields, a retired United Methodist Church minister from Kern’s district. The group requested a meeting with Kern following a March 18 rally at the state capitol. In her meeting with PFLAG supporters today, Kern said that “I agree with” the idea that gay and lesbian Americans should not be fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation.
“We appreciate Representative Kern taking the time to meet with us and consider an important, ongoing dialogue about our families and loved ones,” said Rev. Newton-Edwards. “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.”
Kern did not express an apology during today’s meeting, nor did she back away from any of her earlier comments. The meeting was, however, her first with a group working within the GLBT and allied communities. Newton-Edwards, McCallie and Shields all shared their own stories about why Kern’s comments were personally hurtful, and asked the lawmaker to remember their loved ones when speaking out, and casting votes, in the future. Newton-Edwards also invited Kern to attend an upcoming PFLAG meeting, and Kern said she would consider the request.
“As Representative Kern begins to listen to voices from across her district, and the state, she will hear the stories of hard-working, patriotic men and women who make our communities better, our nation safer and our families stronger,” said Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of PFLAG. “We appreciate this initial meeting, and PFLAG stands ready to be a resource to Kern and a champion for her constituents. We look forward to continuing today’s conversation and working with Kern to move equality forward. Bringing communities together, rather than dividing the public with inflammatory words, should be a top priority of every elected leader. Kern will always find open arms and welcoming families at PFLAG.”
According to The Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, Oklahoma is home to more than 89,500 GLBT citizens; nearly 10,000 lesbian and gay military veterans; and approximately 4,000 children are living in loving homes headed by same-sex couples. According to the Institute, Representative Kern’s district is home to more GLBT Oklahomans than any other district in the state.