Vol. 3, Issue #6 March 21st - April 3rd, 2008

The Faulking Truth

We Have Seen the Enemy...and they are Gay!

By: Mark Faulk
© 2008 Mark Faulk. All rights reserved.

“Homosexuality is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or passionate love - all of which homosexuality is particularly apt to produce.” ~ Plato

It wasn’t as much what Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern said last week as when she said it. This is 2008, and we as a society have become enlightened, haven’t we? People like Sally Kern are dinosaurs, aren’t they? As Ellen DeGeneres so aptly phrased it, “it’s like birdwatchers discovering a bird that they thought was extinct.”

Rep. Kern words spread like a bad disease last week after a videotape of her speaking to a small group of constituents appeared on YouTube. Her gaybashing diatribe would have slipped by with barely a mention from the press if this was say…any time in the last century. However, Kern comments weren’t in any way, shape, or form original; her thoughts weren’t her own. Televangelists have been spouting the same homophobic drivel for decades, and as evidenced by the Plato quote above, people have been arguing about the issue of homosexuality for centuries.

Less then a decade ago, everything from terrorism to tornados was blamed on homosexuality by right wing televangelists whose followers spread the bigotry to the masses and to politicians eager to gain the support of the Christian Right. Pat Robertson has been preaching the same message to a million television viewers a day on The 700 Club for decades. A quick look at Kern’s recent comments alongside Robertson’s blatant anti-gay remarks in the 1990’s shows that while the purveyors may have become more cautious about when and where they spread the hatred, the message remains basically the same:

“If the widespread practice of homosexuality will bring about the destruction of your nation, if it will bring about terrorist bombs, if it’ll bring about earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor, it isn’t necessarily something we ought to open our arms to.”

~ Pat Robertson, 700 Club, June 8, 1998

“I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.”

~ Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern, March, 2008

“It’s one thing to say, `We have rights to jobs...we have rights to be left alone in out little corner of the world to do our thing.’ It’s an entirely different thing to say, well, `We’re not only going to go into the schools and we’re going to take your children and your grandchildren and turn them into homosexuals.’ Now that’s wrong.”

~ Pat Robertson, 700 Club, September 17, 1992

“They are going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle.”

~ Rep. Sally Kern, March, 2008

“The acceptance of homosexuality is the last step in the decline of Gentile civilization.”

~Pat Robertson, Time magazine, Oct 26, 1998

“The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation, it’s just a fact.”

~ Rep. Sally Kern, March, 2008

Although this is the most national controversy Kern has generated, she has been a vocal anti-gay activist for years. Jim Nimmo of Oklahoma Stonewall Democrats believes that Kern uses such tactics to gain far right voter support:

“These destructive stunts hurt real people yet she clearly uses homophobic remarks to inflame her constituents and contributors in order to get re-elected.  She was fairly quiet in 2007, but in 2006 she was trying to have children’s books removed from public libraries because she wanted to again use the gay equality theme to preach her version of a mono-culture society for Oklahoma. She knows what will work.”

The public outcry against Rep. Kern has been significant, with extensive local and national media coverage. A March 14th “Shame on Sally Rally” organized by the Oklahoma Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus brought a crowd of over 250 demonstrators to Memorial Park in Oklahoma City, carrying signs with messages saying “I am not a Terrorist” and “Hate is not a Family Value”.

This past Tuesday, over 300 gay and lesbian rights advocates gathered at the Oklahoma State Capitol in hopes of voicing their opinions to Rep. Kern, but she was nowhere to be found. Instead, advocates spoke to the media and local supporters. Mayflower Congregational Church senior minister Robin Meyers called Kern’s comments “a national embarrassment for Oklahoma.”

Nimmo says that Kern’s comment have a negative effect on the image of Oklahoma, and hopes that the public won’t forget when it comes time for re-election: “It’s vital that pressure and momentum stay centered on Mrs. Kern and her ignorant, hateful remarks.”

Unfortunately, it appears that Kern isn’t alone in her narrow-minded viewpoint. Kern said that she received a standing ovation from the Republican caucus upon her return to the state legislature, and fellow conservative extremist and state Rep. Randy Terrill agreed: “I would submit to you that the vast majority of the folks in our caucus, particularly those who consider themselves conservative, stand with and support Sally.”

While gay and lesbian rights have progressed greatly in the past decade, Kern’s comments, delivered presumably when “no one was listening,” raise the larger question of whether many of our elected representatives have become more tolerant or are merely tempering their remarks for the general public. Have we really become enlightened, or just pushed the extremist viewpoint into the shadows?

Nimmo hopes that ultimately, the added focus on the issue will spark lasting positive changes in Oklahoma: “In the end I want our community’s work to pay off in meaningful hate crimes laws in Oklahoma and nationally that recognize LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) equality without reservation or evasion.”

This is not an issue of gay or lesbian rights; it is an issue of human rights. We as a society need to move beyond extreme religious viewpoints and politics that attempt to dictate what should be personal lifestyle choices. While many people have decried Kern’s contention that there is a “homosexual agenda,” one observer at the Memorial Park Shame on Sally Rally took the microphone and told a cheering crowd, “I know what the gay agenda is – it’s fourteen words. We want all the rights that everyone else has, and we want them now.”

And that, regardless of sexual preference, is the Faulking Truth.

(Mark Faulk is the editor of www.faulkingtruth.com and is the author of The Naked Truth: Investing in the Stock Play of a Lifetime, scheduled to be released in late March, 2008. The book is available online at www.toginet.com)

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