Maybe you remember Sally Kern. Those of us living in Oklahoma certainly do because we're still living with her.
You who live elsewhere may have been treated to her comments before. She's the Oklahoma State Representative who has produced the pearl of wisdom:
"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 of this country. I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam — which I think is a big threat, okay? Cause what's happening now is they are going after, in schools, two-year olds...And this stuff is deadly, and it's spreading, and it will destroy our young people, it will destroy this nation"
Now, this quote is the old news. But the thing about Sally Kern is, she's the gift that keeps on hating.
TRANSCRIPT: "I was talking to a group of Republican activists telling them about a group of homosexual millionaires who, for years, have been working secretly to change the society of America, the political side of America, so that there will be freedom and equality for everyone." --- Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern, August 7, 2010
A secret cabal of gay millionaires who want freedom for all? Well aside from the establishing freedom part, that sounds most shady! Kern assembled this half-thought, half-conspiracy theory at recent the "Wake Up America" conference in Oklahoma city.
Check the date on that quote again. August 7, 2010. That was this month that she said this. So while Sally Kern may have fallen off the national radar, she's still here in Oklahoma, and she's still saying some pretty mind-numbing — and I'd argue, unamerican — things.
The good news is, the next time she makes my beautiful state infamous again with her poisonous words, she may have a little company.
Believe it or not, the only reason I know about latest Kern hate-spray is because of a fellow Oklahoman I've been exchanging e-mails with recently. Her name is Brittany Novotny.
You may not know her name yet, but I hope you'll soon get to know the sharp, principled and brave person behind it. You see, Brittany Novotny is running to challenge Sally Kern for her seat in the Oklahoma House District 84.
Brittany Novotny is a Democrat, a lawyer, an Oklahoma City resident, and she is also woman who transitioned from male to female.
If she is successful in her bid to replace her opponent, she will be the first transperson to be elected to a state legislature not just in Oklahoma, but in the entire United States.
I know you're thinking, "That would be nice, droogs, but what are her chances in a state like Oklahoma?" Well, this is also important to think about.
Brittany tells me that her campaign has a poll out in the field that is not yet complete, but so far shows her level of support is significant — even including 15 to 20 percent from Republican voters. Sally Kern herself is polling below 50 percent, according to Novotny.
On a personal note, and something I find encouraging both as an Oklahoman and as an American, Novotny wrote to tell me, "I have received literally ZERO hate messages (phone/mail/e-mail). Zip, zilch, nada." And that includes the time since she has appeared on local TV news and in our state's newspapers.
Contrary to what you might think about our state, Novotny has even earned some newspaper support. The Journal Record, a business publication based in Oklahoma City, called Novotny's opponent Kern "bad for business" in an editorial. The paper's editorial staff said, "(W)e ask Kern to stop providing fodder for late-night talk show hosts, comedians and bloggers to publicly humiliate our state from a national platform."
Sally Kern is a hate-filled person, and many Oklahomans from both inside and outside of her district have said for years that she does not represent us. Brittany Novotny would like to address the kind of issues that affect all Oklahomans, from helping small businesses to create jobs, to finding innovative education solutions and investing in transportation infrastructure.
A win for Brittany Novotny would be good news for Oklahomans who are tired of being embarrassed by a homophobe, but it would also be a worthy cause for you to support. Overheated, hateful and divisive rhetoric like Kerns' doesn't belong in the mouths of any public official in this country, no matter what state they come from.
Not only that, but at a time when we're always seem to get sidetracked by the silly outrage du jour, we can't forget that there are young and inspired Democrats out there who are itching to make a name for themselves in all parts of this country. We owe them our support for their bravery in standing up.
So learn the name Brittany Novotny. Check out her campaign's web site. Meet her on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter. Donate here, if you are able. Get to know her, and show her some support in any way you can.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer/Disclosure: I'm posting this diary as my way of helping out a candidate. I've spoken with this candidate via e-mail, but that's the extent of the relationship. I've received no payments, financial or otherwise, for doing this or any other online campaigning. All opinions herein are my own, and are not necessarily that of the candidate. And as Woody Guthrie used to say: Anyone caught posting this information or links without my permission will be mighty good friends of mine. Publish it, write it, sing it, yodel it. I wrote it, and that's all I wanted to do.