Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern's Views on Homosexuality Ignite Controversy Again
By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma lawmaker is once again drawing criticism from gay and lesbian groups from across the nation.
State Representative Sally Kern, and a host of other lawmakers, civic and religious leaders, will gather at the State Capitol next month to sign the "Oklahoma Citizen's Proclamation for Morality."
The proclamation urges Oklahoma residents to acknowledge the need for a national awakening of righteousness, but critics say Rep. Kern is again mixing politics and religion.
"Instead of dealing with issues that she ought to be dealing with, it seems she's advocating her religious views once again which is not the proper purview of an elected official," said Rev. Scott Jones, an openly gay pastor in Oklahoma City.
The proclamation attacks President Barack Obama for supporting the nationwide gay pride events that are scheduled throughout the month of June.
It states: "Whereas, deeply disturbed that the Office of the president of these United States disregards the biblical admonitions to live clean and pure lives by proclaiming an entire month to an immoral behavior."
Kern said the proclamation's timing has nothing to do with gay pride festivals happening this month, but many are not buying it.
"Yes, I think it's a response to this celebration and I'm concerned about the economic issues, particularly as they relate to moral and spiritual issues as a pastor, but those issues are more people falling into poverty, millions of Americans without health insurance, more people going hungry, the exploitation of the environment. Representative Kern, a public official doesn't address any of these moral issues," Jones said.
In her proclamation, Kern also blames people outside of Wall Street and Washington for the national recession.
The proclamation states: "Whereas, we believe our economic woes are consequences of our greater national moral crisis; and Whereas, this nation has become a world leader in promoting abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse ,and many other forms of debauchery."
"I think we all know why the economy collapsed and it didn't have anything to do with gay pride festivals," Rev. Scott said.
Oklahoma City's gay pride festival is scheduled for this upcoming weekend.
Rep. Kern made international headlines last year when she compared homosexuality to terrorism by saying, "I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam - which I think is a big threat, okay?"
The American Civil Liberties Union will be investigating whether or not public funds will be used for next week's signing of the proclamation at the state capitol.
The ACLU released the following statement regarding Sally Kern's "Proclamation for Morality:"
"I think it's very unfortunate, frankly, I haven't seen scapegoating like this since pre-World War II Germany", said C.S. Thornton, the Deputy Director of the ACLU Chapter of Oklahoma. "She blames all these things upon a great moral crisis that has in fact caused our national economic downtown, but nowhere in this parade of horribles does mention greedy Wall Street executives or government regulators who were asleep at the switch."
The Human Rights Campaign released the following statement in reaction to the proclamation:
"This resolution is an affront to those who believe in America's constitutional democracy and to people of all faiths who follow the universal teaching to love their neighbors as themselves. In one long diatribe, Rep. Kern manages to demean both the American founding fathers she quotes and the faith she is asking the state of Oklahoma to endorse. America's revolutionary leaders were about building a just society where all could practice their own religion, or not, in peace. Sally Kern is about tearing apart the diverse tapestry the founders helped to form. Jesus Christ taught that we should tell the truth in love and work together in community. Sally Kern makes the truth a beggar on the way to dividing families and communities."