After receiving attention for her remarks, Kern said "I said nothing that was not true" and refused to apologize. She received a standing ovation from fellow Republican legislators in a private meeting a few days later. Although Kern claimed in some Christian news sources to have received death threats which caused her to retain a bodyguard, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation officer who reviewed Kern's emails said, "I wouldn't characterize them as death threats."
An Oklahoma City high school senior whose mother died in the Oklahoma City bombing condemned Kern's comments, saying, "Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves."
Kern also made headlines for authorizing a bill, which recently passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives, mandating that students who espouse Young Earth creationism still receive passing grades in Earth science classes.Lets Digress!
Last year May 17, 2007 is the anniversary of the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its catalogue of mental illnesses, and draws attention to the continuing discrimination and violence LGBT people still face on a daily basis in many countries.
Communities throughout the world (especially London) marked May 17 as their International Day Against Homophobia. 2007 was the third annual observance.
Homosexuality remains a crime in 75 countries and is punishable by death in nine.
In London, British Foreign Minister Ian McCartney marked the day by issuing a statement reaffirming the UK's commitment to the universal decriminalization of homosexuality and announcing the development of a new strategy on international LGBT rights.
"Every year hundreds of LGBT people are killed simply because of their sexual orientation. Some by State execution; many more while the State looks on indifferently. Many thousands more live in fear of persecution. Human rights belong to everyone. Sexual orientation cannot be a qualifying factor," said McCartney.
This year (2007) marks the 40th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain. "LGBT people have struggled to gain recognition of their human rights internationally. Many states refuse even to consider these issues and strive to keep them off the international agenda. Millions of our fellow human beings live in societies still blighted by stigma, prejudice and shame. Their suffering is unseen and unheard. These will be difficult issues to raise, but we must speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves," said McCartney.
40 Years?? That is 4 decades. Here, we have a country that have and still embrace, welcome, accept homosexuals. I wonder how many decades it takes for a country or a civilization to destroy itself - according to Kerns.
The Foreign Minister said that the UK will press for LGBT rights at international bodies, and embark on "bilateral engagement with key countries".
Although he did not specifically name any countries it is expected he will press Eastern European countries in the European Union, such as Poland, which ignore EU regulations on LGBT rights.
The International Lesbian and Gay Association - Europe announced that a number of mayors have signed its Pride Campaign manifesto. Among the first were Bertrand Delanoe, the openly gay Mayor of Paris and co-President of United Cities & Local Governments, Eleni Mavrou the Mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus, and Job Cohen the Mayor of Amsterdam.
"We hope that their statements will also encourage other mayors to condemn homophobia generally, and in particular encourage them to restrain from banning or otherwise limiting LGBT pride festivals and demonstrations," said Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe.Human Rights Watch marked the day by publishing its annual "Hall of Shame".
Pope Benedict XVI, US President George W. Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad topped the list.
The Pope was cited for intervening in politics in many countries to condemn and threaten figures who support equal rights or any form of recognition for lesbian and gay families.
President Bush made the list over the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief which requires that one-third of HIV-prevention spending go to so-called "abstinence-until-marriage" programs.
"These programs threaten the health of LGBT people by sending a message that there is no safe way for them to have sex, and by denying them life-saving information. In some countries, such as Uganda, grants from the $15 billion PEPFAR program have funded groups that actively promote homophobia; in others, they have drastically reduced condom provision," said HRW.Iranian President Ahmadinejad was named for overseeing a widening campaign to "counter public immorality," arbitrarily arresting thousands of Iranians for dressing or behaving differently.
International Day Against Homophobia was observed in 50 countries.
We shall all celebrate again this May 17th!