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Sally Kern asked James Lankford a question at a Town Hall. What could possibly go wrong with that?

10:27 AM EST on January 24, 2013

This past week, the liberal website released two clips of US Congressman James Lankford answering questions at an Oklahoma City Town Hall. Warning, the clips show graphic imagery of stupidity and ignorance.

In the first video, Lankford fielded a question about "the guns" and "psychiatric drugs." Somehow, he found a way to give a response that blames gun violence on evil "welfare moms"who put their kids on psychiatric drugs with the goal of defrauding the government. The video is worth watching not just for Lankford's ridiculous response, but to also get a chuckle at the Derplahoman who asked the question. She looks and speaks like the type of person who stays up late each night wearing a tin foil hat and looking out her window for black helicopters and the thought police. That is, of course, when she's not listening to gospel hymns or Coast to Coast AM.

Normally we would dedicate an entire post to Lankford's bizarre answer to that question, but his gun comment was quickly overshadowed by an exchange with his friend and fellow conservative theocratic nut Sally Kern. Here's the video and transcript via Think Progress:

KERN: I want to know if you’re aware of the Substances and Mental Health Services Administration that has a book called the Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Individuals.


CONSTITUENT: They are going around the nation, they just did this here in Oklahoma, December 7th, and having conferences that are educational. [...] About 2 percent of the conference is dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. 98 percent is doing indoctrination or pushing the homosexual agenda. This is what our president is doing. He has a federal agency doing it. Our state, the Oklahoma Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department, put this conference on and is indoctrinating our citizens who are totally against this. Is there any way you can look into this?

LANKFORD: Oh yes, sure. You know I can absolutely get a chance to take a look at it. We’ll start the process, try to see what we can do to identify it. Some of those things you have the power of humiliation where you can raise it and put in sunlight. They love functioning in the dark. You put some sunlight on it, that does help. But, we’ll see. I’m glad to take that on.

This may surprise you, but I'm going to give Lankford a tiny pass on this one. Sure, his response was offensive and bizarre — you want to "humiliate" gay people who are struggling with substance abuse? — but it was also canned and reeked of placation. "Yeah, we have the power of humiliation and we'll show them. I'll look into it." Seriously, what do you expect the guy to say? He was being asked a question about the evil gay agenda by Sally Kern at a town hall being emceed by a guy wearing overalls. I don't care how right-wing you are, who really wants to be a part of that? I'd probably say the same thing just to get out of the room alive.

But Sally Kern...ugh. Can someone pour water on this lady so she will just melt and go away? She's the Wicked Witch of Derplahoma. I know we'll have to deal with her evil flying monkey army and everything, but I'd be fine with that. I'm seriously starting to think she is a bigger threat to our society than gay terrorists.

What's ironic about Kern's question and statement is that our government may not need a pamphlet called "Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Individuals" if people like Sally Kern, James Lankford and their Derplahoman cronies didn't openly ostracize, shun and discriminate against LGBTs just because they are different. If they were treated like normal people and given equal rights under the law, maybe they wouldn't need specially tailored counseling. Perhaps Sally should have read the section of the pamphlet that discusses homophobia and heterosexism:

Having a general understanding of heterosex­ism and homophobia is important for substance abuse treatment providers working with LGBT individuals. Heterosexism and homophobia describe the forms of bigotry against LGBT people. Heterosexism resembles racism or sexism and denies, ignores, denigrates, or stigmatizes nonheterosexual forms of emotional and affectional expression, sexual behavior, or community. Homophobia is defined as the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against LGBT behavior or persons. Internalized homophobia describes the self-loathing or resistance to accepting an LGBT sexual orientation and is an important concept in understanding LGBT clients.

It is likely that all substance abuse treatment programs have LGBT clients, but staff members may not realize that they are treating LGBT clients. Most treatment programs do not ask about sexual orientation, and many LGBT people are afraid to speak openly about their sexual orientation or identity. LGBT clients cannot anticipate the reaction they will receive when mentioning their sexual orientation.

Anyway, I hope this is the last time we have to write about Sally Kern this year, but I doubt it. She hasn't said anything racist or derogatory about women in a year or two, so I'm sure that's coming up. She probably has something on those topics hiding up her sleeve or festering in her hair. Sorry, had to sneak in a cheap shot about the hair. I would say she goes to Super Cuts, but I don't want to be sued by Super Cuts. She probably goes to a barber named Carol or something.

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