(A Weekly Commentary On GLBT Issues and Events)
September 11, 2011 marked the ten year anniversary of the terrorist attacks that brought our country together in a league of patriotism. Through the tears and last ten years we were able to put differences aside, as a nation, to bond together in defending the freedom and bravery this country was built on. September 20, 2011 saw the end of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) ban, as many gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans became free to serve and live openly without discrimination or harassment. Today as so many homosexual men and women have serves and continue to dedicate their lives to defend a country they are proud to be a part of and in memory of September 11th heroes such as Mark Bingham, an open gay man who lead the charge on United Flight 93 that helped bring down the plane’s hijackers, gay love has been compared to terrorism. That’s right, terrorism. What makes this worse is this comment among other homophobic comments came from the voice of a United States politician. Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern believes homosexuality is actually worse than terrorism.
Just when we thought progress was being made, we are quickly reminded that there is still a long ways to go towards acceptance and understanding. Kern backed up this statement by posing the question: “Which has destroyed and ended the life of more people? Terrorism attack here in America or HIV/AIDS?” The insensitivity of the comment alone makes me wonder how anyone has voted for her or will in the future. She also believes homosexuality is leading to the downfall of our youth because “they are bombarded with ‘homosexuality is normal and natural’. I wonder if Sally Kern truly recognizes that her beliefs and statements have offended many citizens who are living normal and natural lives because of who they were born and that she has also offended many military gay men and women who protect and serve this country. How can this women’s vision truly believe that the natural love two people share is more of a tragedy than the terror we all witnessed and in many cases experienced ten years ago?
Homosexuality is not terrorism Sally Kern. Homosexuality is the heroism of Mark Bingham and so many gay men and women serving in our armed forces; homosexuality is the art of Salvador Dali and the literary voice of James Baldwin; homosexuality is the spirit and strength of those who are living long healthy lives with HIV, a disease that affects ALL human beings of any sexual orientation. Homosexuality, Miss Kern, might be a part of your family which is what makes these comments so striking. Homophobia exists and probably will exist for a long time, but to hear these small minded opinions coming from a four-term congresswoman has to make us wonder how far we still have to go on this journey towards acceptance. It is more evident with Kerns comments that it is in no way homosexuality that is destroying this country, it is the closed minded ignorance that is tearing down the “moral fiber of this nation”.