Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma House has voted to reprimand a lawmaker who denigrated blacks and women during debate last week.

House members took the action Monday on a 76-16 vote against Rep. Sally Kern after she apologized.

Fighting back tears, Kern said her "poor choice of words were hurtful and offensive to many." The Oklahoma City Republican said she asked House Speaker Kris Steele for the opportunity to apologize on the House floor.

"I certainly stumbled in my words the other night proving that I'm not perfect, and even at my age not fully mature according to the Biblical standard," Kern said during an address to the House Monday.

During debate last week over a proposal to end affirmative action in Oklahoma, Kern questioned whether there were disproportionately high numbers of blacks in state prisons because "they didn't want to work hard in school."

"While my words were very hurtful, they do not represent my heart and my actions of the past 60 plus years," Kern said.

Kern also said women don't work as hard as men because they "tend to think a little bit more about their families."

Representative Mike Shelton called for the reprimand. He said the comments Kern made about women and African Americans were offensive.