Today’s letter – what is up with Oklahoma?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

What is up with Oklahoma? As individual politicians incite what can only be described as xenophobia, guardians of equality remain silent.

Seventeen House Republicans refused to accept a goodwill copy of the Quran from the Ethnic American Advisory Council, based on the (incorrect) assumption that “Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology.” The political fallout? None.

One law, HB1804, makes it illegal to provide education or health care to undocumented immigrants, including infants; requires police to check the immigration status of anyone “suspected” of being in this country illegally; makes it a felony to give an illegal immigrant a ride; forbids the issuance of birth certificates to a child if one parent was an illegal alien; and confiscates the property of anyone caught violating HB1804. There was not even a rally against this one – supporters are cowering in legitimate fear.

Then to ice the cake, Republican Rep. Sally Kern focused on gays and lesbians, calling them more of a threat “than terrorism or Islam,” and calling them – us – a “cancer.”

Kern did not apologize – she instead got a standing ovation shortly after her comments were made public. Kern explained “I told the people when I was running for this office that I was a Christian candidate and that I believed we were in a cultural war for the very existence of our Judeo-Christian values.” Values that killed Matt Shepherd. Nice values.

I am so happy to work and live in California, where all of our citizens are welcomed to fully participate in our economy and society. Thank you, Governor, for making and keeping it that way.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: “Oklahoma” plus a three-cent “USA” makeup stamp.

Today’s letter – Jesse Kern and Mother Sally

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

After I heard Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern’s attack on lesbian and gay people – the one where she said they were “worse than terrorists” and “a cancer” that had to be eliminated – I was only disappointed to learn that her adult son Jesse, although currently “celibate,” was quite inarguably gay.

Unfortunately, poor Jesse Kern was not the Michael Stipe or Dan Savage kind of open and proud kind of gay, but the evil back-closet Ted Haggart / Larry Craig kind of gay, based on reports that he was twice cited for making inappropriate advances to other men in the library toilets at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Parents in this situation tend to go either way: they can go the way of Mary Cheney, Cher and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to embrace their children by creating a world where they can live and be happy, or they can go the way of Sally Kern, Sonny Bono and Pete Knight, removing the options of marriage and family leaving only “celibacy” or suicide.

Which one do you think winds up being best for the parents, kids and society?

I wish you would tell the people of this state that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, because it will take somebody like you to undo the damage that Sally Kern has done to us all, parents and kids alike.

Yours,

Today’s letter – why Republicans hate the gays

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern was secretly videotaped kvetching about The Gays at a Republican party meeting.

“I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam. … The homosexual agenda is a very real threat to the sacred institution of marriage and the traditional family unit … If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I’m going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.”

Since then, Ms. Kern has been busy defending her comments while lashing out at her lesbian and gay neighbors both for trying to blocking her speech and for releasing the video on YouTube.

“They want to silence anyone who does not approve their lifestyle. They want their freedom but don’t want those who disagree to have their freedom.”

Now I could say a bunch of lofty stuff about “with freedom comes responsibility” and “I may not agree with you but I will defend with my life your ability to say it.” But the issue here is not one of freedom to hate – the Boy Scouts proved that’s already in our Constitution – but the freedom to love. Can our democracy overcome the false teachings of Ms. Kern and extend the freedom to marry to all her people?

It can, Governor, with your help.

Yours,