Oklahoma parents speak out against Sally Kern’s unholy bias

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The Oklahoman 4/23/2008
By Bob Lemon, Oklahoma City
I am disappointed when I learn of anti-gay speech by public officials. There is no doubt that such speech leads to hale crime* and creates an environment of fear in the LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/lransgender) community. These officials do not set good examples.
In comparison, many gays through history have set good examples. Famous and well-known homosexuals have lived in every nation and every generation. Consider, for example, daughter of Vice-President Dick & Mrs. Lynne Cheney Mary Cheney; sister of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Candace Gingrich, both gay rights activists; U.S. tennis stars Martina Navratilova and Billie lean King; authors Oscar Wilde and Gertrude Stein; U.S. actors Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift; Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis; German General at Valley Forge Baron Von Steuben; and English rock star Elton John.
Are these and countless other LGBT individuals inferior, second class citizens because of their sexual orientation or gender identity? I think not.
When my wife Mary Lou and I learned in 1993 that we were parents of a gay child, we decided to get acquainted with as many gays as possible, attend their events and join gay organizations, trying to learn all we could about homosexuality and what anti-gay people meant when they talked about the “gay agenda.” We never got the same answer twice from anti-gays, nor could they ever give us any logical reason for their animosity against gays.
Our gay son received many honors as a high school student, is an Eagle Scout, was an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, served in the Air Force for eight years, is now a lawyer in Washington, D.C., sings in the choir and serves on the Board of Elders of the National City Christian church.
Today I am totally convinced that homosexuality is not chosen as a “life style.” Gays are born and then “come out” at different ages under different circumstances.
Gays have been murdered solely because of their sexual orientation, just as African-Americans used to be lynched solely because of skin color. Murdered gays include Stephen Domer in Oklahoma City, Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, and San Francisco City Councilman Harvey Milk.
I am also disappointed that anti-gays use the Christian faith lo support their arguments. What did |esus say against gays? Nothing. The Christian faith, as I understand it, leaches that we should love, honor, and respect one another. II also leaches kindness and tolerance, and leaches against prejudice, haired, bigotry and violence.
Bob Lemon
Oklahoma City, OK

The author is a lawyer and was a candidate for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2002 und was the recipient of the Carl Albert Award presented by the Democratic Party in 2007.

4 Responses to Oklahoma parents speak out against Sally Kern’s unholy bias

  1. dhconcerts says:

    Bravo! What a great dad!


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    I don’t know that the Scouts will revoke an Eagle award. The policy is that gays may not be registered leaders, but short of murder, very few Eagle awards are ever revoked (if someone has real data, I’d be interested in hearing about it; the National Council does not publish revocations).

    Scouts have argued they don’t dictate religious policy. Mormons worried that Scouting might order them to allow gay leaders. However, our church ordains gays. This leaves us in the interesting position of having a troop sponsored by a church (the church of Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson and Charles Garfield, by the way) which has a pastor that cannot be a leader in the Scouts. We’re in the same position the Mormons worry about, with Scouts dictating Mormon policies to our faith. I think something has to give on that.

    There is much middle ground. We could simply say that the charter organization chooses its own leaders (actually, that’s what the rules say now). Mormons wouldn’t have to choose gays if they didn’t want to. It may take some other crisis, but I think it’s coming. Scouting lived too long without such discriminatory policies, to the benefit of the nation, Scouting, sponsoring organizations, and kids who are members, to think that the policies then were dangerous.

    We can hope, anyway.


  3. Ediacaran says:

    I suspect the Boy Scouts of America will be revoking that Eagle Scout designation when they hear about this. Although there are many fine upstanding and intelligent citizens involved in B.S.A. (including Ed, may his tribe increase), most of the B.S.A. leadership seems to have been taken over by right wingnuts and religious bigots.

    Kind of like our political offices here in the U.S.A. – and look where that has landed us.


  4. Cuttlefish says:

    I am quite flattered that you link to my comment on Pharyngula; you might want to know that there are one or two more (yeah, I really should know, but I don’t) entries on my own blog, which also re-posts (or pre-posts) my Pharyngula comment.




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