Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern is at it again. It is a new year and she has put forward a series of new, particularly cruel, anti-LGBT bills. "If that flusters the homosexuals, I'm sorry," she declared.
I am a homosexual, and I am flustered.
And I do not believe for one minute that Rep. Kern is sorry.
She has resurrected a failed conversion therapy bill from last year, HB 1598, to promote "sexual orientation change efforts." The bill lists "aversion therapy" techniques -- such as electroshock and/or vomit-induction -- that should be avoided to "change sexual behaviors or gender-identity expressions." I guess she has other methods in mind? Such as shoving us gay and trans folk in front of oncoming traffic? Or maybe clobbering our heads in an enormous Whack-a-Queer game? Or perhaps forcing us to watch a Pat Robertson 700 Club marathon? Whatever the method, she wants to magically change gay kids into straight kids.
Another bill, HB 3044, would prohibit LGBT youth from obtaining gay-affirmative counseling or information. If you are under eighteen, the bill would halt any public school "counselor, therapist, social worker, administrator, teacher or other individual" from referring you to any "individual, organization or entity" if the referral "pertain[s] to human sexuality" without notifying parents. The bill specifically states that you could not be given any contact information, business cards or brochures.
This is a dangerous idea. Depressed or suicidal LGBT youth may be in situations where the only gay-affirmative voices they hear are those of counselors or therapists. These kids may be depressed or suicidal not because they are gay, but because they cannot cope with the scorn and loathing from people like Sally Kern. They may be surrounded by homophobic family members, peers, and teachers. By cutting off positive and affirming lifelines, Rep. Kern is making bad situations worse. I have lost several people to suicide. I am "flustered" when legislators like Kern propose bills that could potentially kill people.
Sally Kern believes in Christian values. Jesus Christ did not promote edging children closer to suicide.
You know who needs therapy? Sally Kern needs therapy. Why is this woman so obsessed with introducing legislation to harm members of the LGBT community? She started 2015 off with a slew of heartless bills, and here she is doing it again this year. This woman needs to talk to someone about why she is ignoring the duties she was elected to do in lieu of drafting needless, dangerous, discriminatory bills. I can picture it:
THERAPIST: "So why are you here, Sally?"
KERN: "I can't stop thinking about how gay people are ruining everything that makes this country great."
THERAPIST: "Can you give me an example?"
KERN: "Well, OK ... in the supermarket, for instance. I see a bunch of bananas in the produce aisle and I think: these bananas look like penises. And they are all touching each other, rows and rows of touching penises. The gays are making me think these horrible thoughts! Without homosexuals, bananas would just be bananas! But because homos exist, my mind sees a penis instead of a banana. When I go down the snack aisle, I see a bunch of pretzel rods and I think ..."
THERAPIST: "I get the idea."
KERN: "I figured that tough legislation would solve the problem, but no! The bananas - er, I mean the homos - they are not going away! I feel as if I am losing my mind. Oh, doctor, whatever can I do?"
I believe some of those aversion therapy techniques might be appropriate here. Let's call it Kernversion Therapy. Here is my suggestion: every time Sally Kern dreams up a new idea for an anti-LGBT bill, we stick a feather down her throat to make her vomit. Every abhorrent, mean-spirited, prejudiced thought that pops into her head will become associated with vomiting.
If that does not work, then we can try shocking her with electricity every time she talks about her plans to discriminate against the LGBT community:
"I propose HB 3044 to stop the gays ... [ZAP!] Ow! ... to stop the gays from influencing kids about the homosexual lifestyle [ZZZAP!] OUCH! Homos [ZAP] need [ZAP] to stop! [ZZZZAAAP!] ... Oh, forget it."
Eventually, we can shake those impulses right out of her. Maybe then her mind will focus on productive thoughts for a representative, such as listening to the actual needs of her constituents.
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