EXCLUSIVE: Anti-gay comments fuel debate
An Oklahoma lawmaker's anti-gay comments are attracting international attention.
"The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation; it's just a fact," Rep. Sally Kern is heard saying on a YouTube video posted Friday.
In an exclusive interview with News9.com Kern (R-Oklahoma City) admits it is her voice on the recording and stands by her comments. She said she's just stating the facts on what she believes.
"I'm not gay bashing, but according to God's word that is not the right kind of lifestyle," she said. "It has deadly consequences."
The YouTube video was released by Washington-based political action committee The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. Their Web site reads: "While this speech is remarkable in its statements, it is not unique. For every bit of hateful rhetoric we hear, scores of other anti-gay statements go unchallenged."
Rep. Kern said the gay community, especially in Oklahoma, should not be surprised by her comments because she's made similar statements in the past.
Kern said the attention isn't necessarily wanted, but she says she won't shy away from her opinions and beliefs, either.
"What is wrong with me as an American exercising my free speech rights on a topic that is a very big issue today?" she said.
One of Kern's most controversial claims is that homosexuals and homosexuality is more of a threat to the United States than terrorism.
Kern said she doesn't know who taped the speech and when it was recorded.
"Shame on the person who didn't have the courage to come and say, 'I'm going to tape you and put it out on YouTube,'" she said.
Karen Parsons is a local activist. She said the majority of Oklahoman's don't care about sexual orientation.
"They care whether or not people are attacked," she said. "They care about whether or not their kids are bullied in school and it's this kind of speech, this kind of hate speech that gives the bullies the license to do it, and that's got to stop."
Parsons also said that Kern's comments are an embarrassment to Oklahoma.
"Hate speech has such negative consequences. The words really mean something." Parsons said. "She's a legislative leader and people pick up on her words and they take them to be the truth."