Kern’s comments came on the topic of affirmative action and African Americans in prison. She suggested they “didn’t want to work hard in school.” Kern also demeaned the contributions of women to the work force, opining that women don’t “want to work as hard as a man” because they “tend to think a little bit more about their family.”
After making the comments, Kern issued the following statement: “I want to humbly apologise for my statements last night about African Americans and women. I believe that our government should not provide preference based on race or gender. I misspoke while trying to convey this point last night during debate. Women are some of the hardest workers in the world. My husband is a pastor of a diverse inner-city church and the way that my words came out last night is certainly not my true spirit.”
“Given her long and well-documented history of extreme bias towards minorities, this apology means nothing. Republicans and Democrats alike agree that the kind of blatant bigotry from an elected official like Sally Kern has no place in our public sphere,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “Sally Kern should resign immediately.”
In a March 2008 speech, Kern stated that gay and lesbian people are the “biggest threat” to America’s national security, more so than terrorism: “The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation, OK, it’s just a fact,” Kern said. “Studies show no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades. So it’s the death knell in this country. I honestly think it’s the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat.”
Later, in June 2009 Kern authored and pushed the so-called “Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality,” which blamed America’s “economic woes” on same-sex marriage, among other issues. The proclamation also specifically criticised President Obama for recognising June as LGBT Pride Month.