Chuck Wolfe

An open letter to Sally Kern

Filed By Chuck Wolfe | March 11, 2008 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics, The Movement
Tags: gay rights, homophobic behavior, Judy Shepard, Larry King, Lawrence King, Matthew Shepard, Oklahoma, Republicans, Sally Kern, Steven Domer, Victory Fund

Dear Sally,

I saw the statement you released yesterday in which you said your "hate speech" is merely "free speech." That's kind of gross, but it's also beside the point.

The point is this: your words have consequences. Ask Judy Shepherd -- her son, Matthew, was viciously murdered ten years ago by people who think like you. Ask the parents of Lawrence King, an openly gay eighth-grader who was gunned down in school last month by a classmate whose fear was stoked by words like yours. Just this past fall, Steven Domer, a 62-year-old gay man was brutally murdered right in your home state of Oklahoma.

What you said is not okay, but that's not because most sensible people disagree with it. It's because your words give aid and comfort to those who would hurt, maim and even kill people who are different from you. Comparing gays and lesbians to cancer and terrorism and saying they are the "biggest threat to America," gives license to others to treat us that way, especially given the leadership position you hold in your community.

I also read that some of your colleagues in the Republican caucus stood and cheered you as you entered their meeting yesterday. How odd and depressing. This isn't a partisan issue; I know plenty of Republicans who were outraged at your comments, because they themselves are parents, friends and family to gays and lesbians who are at risk when people of your stature say the kinds of things you did.

Whether or not you agree that gay people deserve halfway decent treatment (the fact that you said we were destroying America implies that you don't), what I want you to understand is that the words you said will have real life implications. Your speech can lead to the murders of more young people. You have outraged hundreds of thousands, but you may have inspired a few people, too. That's not just sad, it's evil.

The point of the Victory Fund's releasing your speech was to draw attention to the fact that even elected leaders like you are saying some nasty and potentially dangerous things about your fellow citizens. Our mission is to elect people to counter your hate and bigotry with honesty and courage.

You may have been applauded by a handful of your colleagues, but more than a half million people are now listening. They heard you loud and clear, and they're not clapping.

Chuck Wolfe

(If you'd like to sign on to this open letter please visit the Victory Fund website. You can also hear Mrs. Kern's audio on the site.)


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Please post this on your website, you have my permission.

Please sign the petition to get Sally Kern out of Office. Forward to all your friends, post on your blogs!

I think it's only fair that the Victory Fund do something help this poor woman. She only wants to protect her marriage, which is sadly in jeopardy.

May I suggest you start a fund to cover the cost of therapy to try and salvage her marriage? I know it's an uphill battle - but I'm sure many lgbt people would dig deep to try and get this woman the help she says she needs.

What on earth makes you think that the killings were a bug and not a feature of her program?

Look, I'm a Right Wing Death B*tch, I'm used to rubbish being put out about how we're all Evil, how ChipyBusHalliburton is the AntiChrist etc etc yada yada. In Australia, we call that BS.

But in her case, I really think the evidence points out to the disclaimers and demurs being purely for public consumption, as it's now unacceptable for a politician to call for gays to be executed, as they are in Iran. Not so long ago, it was quite OK to do this.

In Australia such behaviour is called "Dog Whistling". Those sharing her beliefs hear what she says, but know what she means. She really does think Gays are a greater threat than Terrorists. And they shoot terrorists, don't they?

Maybe someone should start forwarding her every story about LGBT people who are victims of hate crimes inspired by this type of talk.

I do not think, or at least would like to hope, that some people do not understand the effect words can have on people.

I'm sorry, Heather, but I have to ask... Is your petition affiliated with the Victory Fund open letter? (Which is basically a petition folks can sign onto as well?) I noticed it was on Care2, so it doesn't look like it's the same one.

As the org that broke the video and audio of Mrs. Stern's anti-gay tirade, I'd be more inclined to follow their lead and sign their petition instead.

Kern's comments were pretty offensive.

Chuck,
Thank you for doing this. It is another front we have to fight, and it is great to see a respected organization like your take the lead.

Monica Helms
President, Transgender American Veterans Association

tobyhannabill | March 12, 2008 5:18 PM

I heard the recording for the first time today. I was actually impressed by Sally Kern. It is almost impossible for me to string together that many inaccurate, slanderous, offensive, stupid comments into one conversation.
Does she still have a job and if so for how long?
Someone should publish the names of the fools that applauded her comments. They too should be put out.