Lawmaker's comments continue to stir debate

Saturday, March 22nd 2008, 11:22 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

Rep. Sally Kern's comments comparing gays to terrorists are still stirring debate more than two weeks after they were posted on YouTube.

Jerre Fine said Kern's comments on the gay lifestyle insulted her, her father and a family member killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

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  • "Whenever I was 13 years-old, on April 19, 1995, that whenever the Oklahoma City bombing happening and I lost a family member," Fine said. "Her name was Valerie Koelsch."

    Fine said it wasn't the last time she would be exposed to terrorism.  The now 25-year old student is a former intelligence officer for the Air Force and served in the war on terror.

    Fine said as a lesbian, she's insulted by Kern's comments and joins other members of the gay community who are demanding an apology from the Oklahoma City lawmaker.

    "It almost makes me feel like she's trying to say I'm un-American, or that I'm a second class citizen, and here I am, I served our country, I actually fought the terrorists," Fine said. 

    In Kern's now famous speech, she also mentioned how the gay lifestyle is spreading like cancer - a comment that Fine said was equally as hurtful.

    "My dad is a lung cancer survivor, and I didn't really know what she was trying to say," Fine said. "Is she trying to say that now there is something wrong with my dad because not only does he have a gay daughter, but he has cancer. It's just really uncalled for."

    Fine said she hopes Kern will be more willing to sit down and have discussions with the gay community about her thoughts and feelings.

    In the meantime Fine is working with human rights groups to get her story out.

    Representative Kern has told NEWS 9 she doesn't hate gays, she just believes the lifestyle is a sin and will not apologize for her remarks.