If Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern wants to talk about terror, Islam or cancer, she should look up Jerre Fine in the Oklahoma City phonebook.
Fine, a veteran of the United States Air Force, was based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and spent her days as an intelligence officer doing critical satellite communications work in support of the war on terrorism. She also lost a loved one in the Oklahoma City bombing. And her father is a survivor of lung cancer.
So when Kern compared gays to a "cancer" that is "just destroying this nation" and went on to proclaim that gays are "the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam," Fine listened carefully.
And it came to be that, when Jerre met Sally (via the MySpace and the YouTube), she was, decidedly, not in the mood to "have what she's having."
"I just thought it was very ignorant," says Fine of Kern's comments. "It was like a triple whammy."
Jerre Fine, you see, isn't just a military veteran who fought terrorism abroad . . . or just an Oklahoman who lost someone in the city's 1995 bombing . . . or just a daughter touched by a parent's battle with cancer . . . Jerre Fine is also a lesbian.
"Fine says Kern's comments insulted her sexuality, her work as a former member of the military, her family and her father, who is a lung cancer survivor," HNOKC.com reports in its current issue.
"She compared being gay with cancer, and my family lost a loved one in the Oklahoma City bombing," the military vet, who now lives in Oklahoma City, told the magazine. "I was 13-years old at the time of the bombing. Trust me, I'm all too familiar with terrorism."
But, she points out, Kern's definition of the term is as short-sighted as saying Christians - with whose churches Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was said to affiliate himself - were responsible for that 1995 disaster.
"When she said it was worse than terrorism and Islam I was appalled. Based on my studies, I learned Islam is a beautiful religion, and it is extremists who give it a bad name," said Fine. "I defended this nation against terrorism, and I hope to one day tell Kern that face-to-face: She has an obligation to the public and to Oklahoma to be more educated and not be so reckless with her comments."
Could somebody please call the Representative's scheduler? It's time for Sally to meet Jerre, too.