A pro-gay group has released an audio
clip of Okla. Rep. Sally Kern which they claim is “irrefutable
evidence” that the anti-gay Republican had made conciliatory
remarks. Remarks she has since denied making.
Members of Oklahoma Parents, Families
and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), a group devoted to
supporting GLBT people, were elated when they were informed that Kern
would meet with them to discuss her recently revealed anti-gay
speech. The speech given to a group of about 50 Republicans in
Oklahoma was posted on the video sharing website YouTube on March 7th
by The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a gay advocacy group that
works to elect openly GLBT people. In the speech, Kern asserts that
gays are dangerous to America, are indoctrinating young children to
accept the homosexual lifestyle, and are infiltrating city councils.
Kern was unaware that she was being recorded.
“I honestly think it's
[homosexuality] the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than
terrorism or Islam,” Kern tells her audience.
Kern was surprised by a swift firestorm
of protest demanding an apology. Thousands of emails and phone
calls, most condemning her speech, some threatening her life, flooded
her office. Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund President Chuck Wolfe
called for an apology in an editorial published on the Huffington
The Oklahoma chapter of PFLAG requested
a meeting to discuss the situation. Kern refused interviews or
meetings with any progressive media outlet or group, including PFLAG.
Kern agreed to a meeting only after
approximately 300 PFLAG supporters held a rally at the Oklahoma
Capital on March 18th.
The meeting took place on March 27th.
A subsequent PFLAG press release reported that Kern agreed gays
should not be fired because of sexual orientation. Kern later denied
that she agreed that gays should not be fired from their jobs. The
release also reported that Kern did not back down from her position
In the 40 minute audio clip posted on
YouTube.com, Sally Kern is heard agreeing with Dr. Rev. Kathy
McCallie on the issue of job discrimination. McCallie asks why Kern
labels gay activists' calls for equal rights a homosexual agenda.
“The way I see it, Kathy, is that as Americans you have equality
already. What you want is special rights for your lifestyle.”
“What is special about wanting to have the right not be fired from
your job?” “You should not be fired from your job because...,”
Kern pauses, and McCallie asks, “Because I'm gay?” “Yeah, you
shouldn't be,” Kern agrees. “So you would agree that I shouldn't
be fired from my job because I'm gay?” Kern says, “You know
here's what I think. We shouldn't be talking at our jobs. Teachers
shouldn't be talking at school, whether we're heterosexual or
homosexual. We're hired to do a job, we should do the job.”
In an email to On Top Magazine, PFLAG
Director of Communications Steve Ralls said, “Kern's remarks during
the PFLAG meeting were encouraging, but her remarks following the
meeting, where she distanced herself from that progress, were quite