The Agenda

Another proud Oklahoman stands up

Rep. Sally Kern could be getting some interesting company in the Oklahoma State House.

You might recall that in 2008, Kern was caught on tape in an ugly tirade against LGBT people.  We broke the news here on Gay Politics, but it was quickly picked up by blogs, the mainstream media and even Ellen Degeneres, who attempted to call Kern during her show.

Kern said gays and lesbians were a bigger threat than terrorists, that they wanted to indoctrinate 2 year-olds, and that they were like a spreading cancer.  More than a million people watched a YouTube video made from that tape.  The national and even international outrage over her remarks was swift, and fair-minded Oklahomans were embarrassed at what Kern had said.

More than two years later, Kern still occupies her seat in the State House, and she still spews extremist rhetoric about Oklahoma’s LGBT community.  Now a few members of that community are running to join her in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.  This could get interesting.

One of the candidates, Andrew Williams, is a 30 year-old Tulsa native who was recently selected as one of Oklahoma Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” for his leadership both in his community and the business sector.  He’s an energy company executive who’s focused on job creation and developing a greener future for his home state.

Williams’ decision to run to represent District 66 in the State House had to be made quickly.  The Democratic incumbent decided at the last minute this summer not to file for re-election, and community leaders in Tulsa almost instantly turned to him to ask him to run.  His first hurdle comes July 27th in the Democratic primary.

Williams joins a number of Oklahomans who’ve decided to be honest about who they are as they seek to serve the public in elected office.  Jim Roth was the first, winning election to the Oklahoma County Commission twice before being appointed by the governor to statewide office.  State Rep. Al McAffrey, who was the first LGBT person elected to the state legislature, is running for reelection this year.  And Tom Kovach, a member of the Norman City Council, is also seeking a seat in the State House.

It’s fair to say Sally Kern didn’t enter Williams’ mind when he decided to run, but his mere presence on the State House floor could have a big impact on her colleagues and blunt some of her lies about LGBT Oklahomans.  For more information about Williams’ campaign, go here.  Follow his Twitter feed here.