Human Rights Campaign Asks Oklahoma Governor, House and Senate Leaders to Condemn Anti-gay Remarks b

by Admin

Rep. Kern said "the homosexual agenda is destroying this nation" and the threat was larger than international terrorism

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, sent a letter today to Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, Speaker of the House Chris Benge and Senate President Pro-Tempore Mike Morgan, in response to anti-gay remarks made by State Rep. Sally Kern. The remarks, recorded in audio, have received national attention after first being released by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

To listen to the remarks, which have received nearly 400,000 hits on YouTube, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFxk7glmMbo

March 10, 2008

Governor Brad Henry
State Capitol Building, Rm. 212
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Dear Governor Henry:

As head of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization with over 700,000 members and supporters across the country, I am writing to draw your attention to the deeply troubling remarks of Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern stating that homosexuality is a bigger threat to our nation than terrorism.

We hope you will join the Human Rights Campaign, and the GLBT community of Oklahoma in condemning these remarks.

Mr. Governor, words matter. As an elected official, Representative Kern's words and behavior set an example for the public and equating sexual orientation with terrorism serves only to further divide us and endanger our fellow citizens - some of whom she certainly represents in her elected capacity.

Representative Kern's statements are especially troubling given the recent spate of hate violence against gay and transgender youth. Last month in California, a 15 year old boy, Lawrence King, who suffered taunting and bullying by his classmates because of his sexual orientation and gender identity, was killed by one of those classmates - a 14 year old boy.

Unfortunately, hate violence in the United States is on the rise. The FBI's most recent hate crimes report shows an increase in bias-motivated violence from the previous year. Hate crimes based on religion and sexual orientation are the second and third most prevalent, following only race in their frequency. Hate crimes are particularly virulent because they send the poisonous message that some Americans deserve to be victimized solely because of their race, ethnic background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Comments such as Representative Kern's only serve to fuel hate motivated violence towards the GLBT community. In fact, these statements are irresponsible and do a disservice to the people of Oklahoma and all Americans.

Mr. Governor, as the chief executive of the state of Oklahoma, you are charged with the safety and well being of all your citizens. We urge you, as their Governor, to take a stand against Representative Kern's rhetoric and publicly condemn these hate-filled remarks.

Sincerely,

Joe Solmonese
President

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email press@hrc.org.