According to Oklahoma lawmaker Sally Kern, gays are more of a threat to America than terrorists. Also, they are “going after our young children, as young as two years of age,” “infiltrating” city councils across the country, and have completed a hostile takeover of Eureka Springs, Ark.
These were just a few of the bizarre assertions in the anti-gay tirade Kern spewed at a recent appearance at a community event for supporters. Last week, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a Washington, D.C., political group posted the audio on YouTube.
Ironically, Kern represents a district in Oklahoma City, a community that became all too familiar with the true danger of terrorism when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed in 1995. She sits on the House of Representatives’ Education and Human Services Committee and chairs the Social Services Committee.
While Kern’s claims were astounding, they were hardly original. In fact, taken together they’re a greatest hits medley of unhinged claims currently in vogue among anti-gay extremists and propagandists.
What follows is Hatewatch’s breakdown of four of Kern’s most outrageous quotes and their likely dubious sources:
“ As a matter of fact, studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades. So it’s the death knell for this country. I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.”
This reads like it was lifted straight from the boilerplate rhetoric of the Watchmen on the Walls, an international coalition of anti-gay militants based in Latvia that has a strong presence on the West Coast of the United States. Watchmen leader Alexey Ledyaev has repeatedly claimed that gays are taking over the West in order to prime the culture for an even more radical conquest by Islamic terrorists.
“Did you know that the city council of Eureka Springs [Ark.] is now controlled by gays?”
Earlier this year, the anti-gay American Family Association released "They’re Coming To Your Town," a 28-minute DVD that purports to show how the resort town of Eureka Springs, Ark. [pop. 2,350] was taken over in a homosexual coup. “Using deceitfulness and lies, homosexuals maneuvered themselves into positions of power and then used those positions to promote their agenda,” reads an AFA press release promoting the DVD.
“They [gays and lesbians] have more suicides, they’re more discouraged, there’s more illness, their life spans are shorter, you know, it’s not a lifestyle that is good for this nation.”
“This stuff [homosexuality] is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.”
Though she doesn’t cite specific data, Kern’s claims about the deadly lifestyle and shortened life spans of gays and lesbians are probably fueled by the pseudo-scientific reports of crackpot psychologist Paul Cameron, a popular speaker on the anti-gay lecture circuit of the Christian Right who portrays gays and lesbians as dangerous, diseased perverts whose average life span is only 45 years. Cameron’s work has been thoroughly discredited by mainstream social researchers. One of his most infamous studies found that “lesbians are 300 times more likely to die in car accidents than heterosexual women.”
The day after the recording of Kern’s comments was posted to YouTube, a local television reporter asked her if she truly believes that homosexuality is more of a threat to American than terrorism. “Yes I do,” Kern replied. She then added that she would not apologize for her views and that she stood by all her claims. “I say nothing that I can't verify with facts,” she said.