Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern defended earlier statements against gays and lesbians yesterday in a debate with Democratic challenger Ron Marlett.

In a heated debated against Marlett Thursday, Kern, who is running for a third term, defended her position against the “gay agenda,” and repeated her statement that gays represent the biggest threat to the nation.

“While terrorism has killed more than 3,000 people in the continental United States in the last 15 years, homosexual behavior has killed more than 100,000,” the Republican representative said. “It's a danger to life. It is a danger to health.”

Kern drew a firestorm of protest from gay groups in March when she said, “I honestly think it's [homosexuality] the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam,” at a gathering of Republicans in Oklahoma City.

At the 2-hour debate hosted by the Northwest Chamber of Commerce in Bethany, an unidentified man was escorted out of the building by police after asking Kern about the gun she brought into the state Capitol building. The man was referring to two separate Summer incidents where Kern was caught attempting to enter the building with a handgun.

Marlett has said he entered the race because of Kern's anti-gay remarks. “To compare certain members of our community to a cancer that might need to be removed or amputated is chilling to me,” he said.

Kern, however, stood her ground even as Marlett's wife stood up and called her a liar. “Our country is united pretty much against terrorism, but homosexuality is being promoted in schools and by the government,” Kern said.

On XM satellite radio's The Agenda with Joe Solmonese, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe discussed Kern's anti-gay tirades.

“She in no way apologizes [for her anti-gay rhetoric] ... Regardless of the number of business interests who are upset that she has set the tone that Oklahoma is an unwelcoming state for business. She still revels in it. You just think the Party would start to figure out its going to hurt their tax rolls eventually, but not yet,” Wolfe said.