Gay media watchdog the Gay &
Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) on Sunday called for the
resignation of Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern.
Kern, an outspoken opponent of gay
rights, came under fire last week for derogatory comments against
African Americans and women.
During a debate on the Oklahoma House
floor on a GOP-backed proposed constitutional amendment that would
eliminate Affirmative Action in state government, Kern, a Republican,
told colleagues that minorities earn less than white people because
they have less initiative.
“We have a high percentage of blacks
in prison, and that's tragic, but are they in prison just because
they are black or because they don't want to study as hard in school?
I've taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn't
study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”
Kern added that women earn less than
men because “they tend to spend more time at home with their
families.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this
On Thursday, Kern offered a written
“I want to humbly apologize for my
statements last night about African Americans and women,” Kern
said. “I believe that our government should not provide preference
based on race or gender. I misspoke while trying to convey this
point last night during debate.”
Anthony Douglas, the president of the
Oklahoma chapter of the NAACP, was the first to ask for Kern's
resignation: “You cannot commit racism and then offer an apology
for the racist statement you make. The citizens of Oklahoma, the
constituents, can no longer stand by and allow this type of action to
GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios also
called on Kern to step down.
“Given her long and well-documented
history of extreme bias towards minorities, this apology means
nothing. Republicans and Democrats alike agree that the kind of
blatant bigotry from an elected official like Sally Kern has no place
in our public sphere. Sally Kern should resign immediately.”
Kern is best known for saying gay
folks are the “biggest threat our nation has” at a 2008 gathering
of Republicans. Last year, Brittany
Novotny, a transgender woman, attempted to unseat Kern.