MORONS MAKE LAWS: Okla. bill protects the sanctity of reparative therapy

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Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern

If today feels like pick on Oklahoma day, it’s only because they’re competing for the title, “most homophobic bills filed in a single session.” And how could we overlook our favorite Oklahoma legislator Sally Kern!?

While other states are banning reparative therapy for minors, a bill written by our buddy Sally Kern to protect the practice passed an Oklahoma House committee, 5-3. Kern called Dallas Voice “a source of evil” in her brilliant book.

Kern has dubbed her gay torture bill The Parental and Family Rights in Counseling Protection Act.

Her bill clearly described the torture she expects gay and lesbian youth to endure in order to change to her preferred sexual orientation:

“Aversion therapy” means any counseling by a mental health provider that exposes or asks a client or patient to undergo physical pain, such as electroshock or electroconvulsive therapy, touch therapy, pornography exposure or vomit-induction therapy, in order to change sexual behaviors or gender identity expressions and/or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.

Kern said that even though nothing in Oklahoma law prevents conversion therapy, the practice is under attack by every medical and psychological organization in the country and has been declared illegal in a growing number of states. The bill has been declared an emergency meaning it would go into effect immediately after passage and signing and not wait the standard period after the legislative session before becoming law.

 

—  David Taffet

Sally Kern withdraws anti-gay bill

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Sally Kern

Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern, a Republican, withdrew a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to LGBT people, according to Tulsa World.

Her bill, “the Business Protection Act,” read:

“No business entity shall be required to provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges related to any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, group or association.”

She said the bill wouldn’t have done what she intended for it to do, and she’s right. Instead, it would have been declared unconstitutional and, in its ruling, any court would have said the law was based on animus and turned sexual orientation and gender identity into protected classes.

Oklahoma state Sen. Kay Floyd, a Democrat, who is lesbian, said, “This is great news. Your letters, emails, and calls are already making a difference. The sooner we defeat the rest of these divisive and unconstitutional bills, the sooner we can get back to working for everyday Oklahomans.”

Kern submitted two other anti-gay bills so far this session. One prevents taxpayer money and government salaries from licensing or supporting same-sex marriage. The other is called the “Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act.”

—  David Taffet

Rep. Kern dislikes Judge Kern’s Oklahoma decision

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern

Rep. Sally Kern

Here’s what Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern has to say about the Judge Terence Kern’s decision declaring the state’s marriage amendment unconstitutional.

Rep. Kern assures us that she’s not related to the judge, and I took the entire quote from her Facebook page because she’s accused me of taking her quotes out of context when I’ve quoted her verbatim. So here’s her remarks, in their entirety:

Just watched channel news 9 interview about the “marriage equality” decision by Judge Kern (remember–no relation). Very disappointed in what they chose to show but can’t say that is a surprise because even our media here in Oklahoma is left leaning. Media is focusing on this as equal rights for homosexuals and seeking to make those of faith look like bigots. Thomas Jefferson talked of “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence. Homosexuality and same sex marriage is not a civil right but a human wrong because it is against the laws of nature and nature’s God. Our founding fathers understood this. America has a rich heritage of legal principles of equality (yes, our nation was wrong on slavery but, thankfully, we finally got it right because race is an innate characteristic, not a choice), and GOVERNMENT BY CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED. How in the world can a decision by one judge throw out the votes of 75% of the voters in Oklahoma? The Constitution protects our rights but homosexuality and same sex marriage are not protected rights. They are behavior. Which behavior is going to seek to be legitimized next? Polygamy? Polyamory? Oh, guess what? They are already starting to push for acceptance. Time to speak the truth in love, folks, or those who hold to moral absolutes (think Christians) will lose our rights.

According to contacts in Oklahoma, while Kern is upset about the decision, the sky hasn’t actually fallen and Kern’s head hasn’t exploded.

In Friday’s paper, we explain the judge’s decision.

—  David Taffet

OKC theater company loses funds for presenting gay play by Paul Rudnick

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally KernAn Oklahoma City theater company is under attack because it will present a play by gay playwright Paul Rudnick in December.

State Rep. Dan Fisher belongs to a group called “Patriot Pastors.” As a result of his efforts, the theater company has already lost $5,000 in funding from the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Another member of the group is Steve Kern, husband of state Rep. Sally Kern, the notorious homophobe in the Oklahoma House who blamed this paper for “bashing” her.

Despite the loss of funding, the Oklahoma City Theatre Company plans to present The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told at the Civic Center. The Civic Center said it does not censor shows and will host the production.

And if you haven’t already had enough of Sally Kern in Oklahoma state government, her husband has announced that he is running for state Senate.

—  David Taffet

Oklahoma House panel hears bill to reinstate ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ for state’s National Guard

Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern once called gays a bigger to America threat than terrorists, and Oklahoma certainly wouldn’t want terrorists in its National Guard. So according to Kern’s logic, that must mean the state shouldn’t allow gays and lesbians in its National Guard, either.

In January, State Rep. Mike Reynolds introduced a bill that would allow anyone eligible to serve in the military on Jan. 1, 2009 — 20 days before Barack Obama was inaugurated as president — to serve in the Oklahoma National Guard.

The bill would put the state at odds with military policy — which has allowed gays to serve openly since the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” last year.

Last week, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis wrote to Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the National Guard Bureau Chief, and asked him to come out against the bill.

“If a state National Guard ‘fails to comply with a requirement of this title, or a regulation prescribed under this title, the National Guard of that State is barred, in whole or in part, as the President may prescribe, from receiving money or any other aid, benefit, or privilege authorized by law,’” Sarvis warned McKinley.

In other words, if Reynolds’ bill passes, Oklahoma could lose $300 million from the federal government.

Sarvis also wondered what will happen to service personnel in the Oklahoma Guard who have come out since the repeal of DADT.

“Would those who have come out since the repeal of DADT be discharged?” he asked. “And if the Oklahoma National Guard mobilizes into federal service, will gay and lesbian guard members from Oklahoma be allowed to serve openly while deployed in accordance with DOD and National Guard Bureau policy, only to be demobilized and discharged under Oklahoma’s DADT law?”

The Oklahoma Daily weighed in with its opinion: “A ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ rule for Oklahoma National Guard is wasteful and disrespectful to guardsmen.” John Aravosis of AmericaBlog has a different idea — call their bluff and let them hang themselves.

The Oklahoma House Veteran and Military Affairs Committee is scheduled to hear arguments about the bill this afternoon, according to the Oklahoma LGBT group The Equality Network.

UPDATE: Oklahoma Sen. Al McAffrey reports that the bill has been sent to a different committee where it will die.

“The bill reinstating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the Oklahoma National Guard is dead!” McAffrey wrote. “It was pulled from the Veterans Committee and reassigned to the Rules Committee, where the Chairman will not hear the bill. It’s good for our state that this bad piece of legislation will not proceed.”

—  David Taffet

Openly gay candidate Al McAffrey elected to Oklahoma Senate in special election

Sen. Al McAffrey

Oklahoma has its first openly gay state senator after Al McAffrey, 63, was elected Tuesday in a special election.

McAffrey was first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2006 and easily won reelection in 2008 and 2010. In the Tuesday election, he won with more than 66 percent of the vote, according to the Daily Oklahoman. He will be sworn into office next week.

He was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

During his time in office, McAffrey was a leader on legislation supporting senior citizens, education issues and access to affordable health care. He was also one of the state House’s most vocal critics against Republican Rep. Sally Kern and her anti-gay agenda.

McAffrey’s district includes much of Oklahoma City. With his election, Democrats have 16 seats in the state Senate and Republicans have a 32-seat super-majority.

—  David Taffet

HRC wonders why Oklahoma leaders haven’t condemned Sally Kern’s latest anti-gay remarks

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern

Last week we told you about Republican Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern’s latest anti-gay rant, in which she repeated her infamous three-year-old claim that homosexuality is a bigger threat to the U.S. than terrorism (listen to the audio below).

In response to Kern’s rant, the Human Rights Campaign is asking people to send emails to Oklahoma legislative leaders calling on them to denounce Kern’s statements. So far, the campaign has generated more than 200,000 emails, according to HRC. However, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and House Speaker Kris Steele — both also Republicans, naturally — have remained silent.

“The silence of Governor Fallin and Oklahoma’s legislative leadership is deafening, particularly given the number of people we now see calling on them to speak out,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a press release today. “Enough is enough. Sally Kern has a long track record of outrageously slandering LGBT Americans, ethnic and religious groups, and women. It’s time for Oklahoma’s leaders to stand up to her bigotry and hold her accountable for her remarks.”

Don’t hold your breath, Joe.

—  John Wright

With 9/11 anniversary approaching, Sally Kern reminds us that homosexuality is the real threat

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern

Right Wing Watch reports that Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern has doubled down on her claim, first made in 2008, that homosexuality poses a greater threat to the U.S. than terrorism. Here’s RWW’s transcript of Kern’s remarks during an Aug. 31 interview with Peter LaBarbera of the hate group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality:

You know if you just look at it in practical terms, which has destroyed and ended the life of more people? Terrorism attack here in America or HIV/AIDS? In the last twenty years, fifteen to twenty years, we’ve had maybe three terrorist attacks on our soil with a little over 5,000 people regrettably losing their lives. In the same time frame, there have been hundreds of thousands who have died because of having AIDS. So which one’s the biggest threat? And you know, every day our young people, adults too, but especially our young people, are bombarded at school, in movies, in music, on TV, in the mall, in magazines, they’re bombarded with ‘homosexuality is normal and natural.’ It’s something they have to deal with every day. Fortunately we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day, and that’s what I mean. …

It’s more dangerous, and yes I think that it’s also more dangerous because it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation. We were founded as a nation upon the principles of religion and morality, if we take those out from under our society we will lose what has made us a great nation, we will no longer be a virtuous people, which we see happening already. And without virtue this nation will not survive.

The audio is here.

—  John Wright

Sally Kern: Gays (and Gaga) are the real haters!

Rep. Sally Kern

In case you missed Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern’s appearance on Tim Wildmon’s American Family Radio, she was on promoting her new book, The Stoning of Sally Kern.

Wildmon is the president of the hate group the American Family Association. Kern is the legislator whose district includes a large number of those killed in the Oklahoma City bombing, but who says that homosexuals are a bigger threat to this country than terrorists.

On the show, Wildmon said, “Nobody hates the individual homosexual.”

That’s great to know.

“To me what is hateful is when those people who say ‘you’re born this way, there’s no hope in change, you’re stuck in this, deal with it,’ that is hate,” Kern responded. “There’s no hope in that.”

—  David Taffet

What’s Brewing: Rick Perry deluded; Okla. sees big jump in gay couples; American backs ENDA

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Gov. Rick Perry is apparently operating under the delusion that he’s a minister and the state of Texas is his church, according to the transcript of a speech Perry made to East Texas business leaders in May to raise money for his “day of prayer and fasting” in Houston on Aug. 6. “At 27 years old, I knew that I had been called to the ministry,” Perry said, according to the transcript obtained by the Houston Chronicle. “I’ve just always been really stunned by how big a pulpit I was gonna have. I still am. I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do his will.”

2. New Census data released today shows a big increase in the number of same-sex couples in Oklahoma. Anti-gay State Rep. Sally Kern says she isn’t surprised but finds the situation “regrettable”: “I think the influence of the church plays a factor here, we have more churches today … that are saying homosexuality does not go against biblical truth,” Kern said. “Another factor is homosexuality is being taught in our schools as a normal and acceptable lifestyle, so when that happens, you are going to have more young people coming out of school who have a more favorable attitude towards homosexuality.”

3. Fort Worth-based American Airlines has again expressed support for the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban workplace discrimination against LGBT people. In a letter to members of Congress, the airline writes: “On behalf of our 80,000 employees, American Airlines is proud to express our strong support for S. 811 and H.R. 1397, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would extend basic job protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. We are proud to have been the first major airline to implement same-sex domestic partner benefits, first to implement both sexual orientation and gender identity in our workplace non-discrimination policies, and first to have a recognized LGBT employee resource group – GLEAM. Our endorsement of ENDA is consistent with our longstanding ‘Statement of Equal Opportunity.’ The principles fostered by ENDA are consistent with our corporate principles in treating all employees with fairness and respect.”

—  John Wright