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Knickers Twister Hits Oklahoma House of Representatives

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Message James Nimmo
(OKLAHOMA CITY) Wednesday, February 11, 2009 was an important day in the life of Rev. Scott Jones, minister at Cathedral of Hope, a United Church of Christ (UCC) congregation in Oklahoma City ( As an openly gay man, he had been invited to be chaplain for the day of the Oklahoma House of Representatives by his elected representative, Mr. Al McAffrey .

Rev. Jones had been told by the Speaker of the House, GOPer Chris Benge, that it was customary for the chaplain to introduce himself to the House members and to acknowledge any visitors Jones might have invited to the public gallery in the House chamber. Jones continued the custom by doing just that: he introduced his parents, church members, and his partner and finance, Michael, and following with his prayer based on Isaiah.

Straight people acknowledge their families ALL the time so why can't non-straights?

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry can't turn around without acknowledging "my lovely wife and lovely daughters" regardless of the occasion or even if they're not in the room. When legislators are sworn in they're allowed to bring their children on to the floor, both in Oklahoma and in Congress.

Subsequent to the prayer, Rep. McAffrey made a motion that Rev. Jones' prayer be entered into the House Journal, the official record of proceedings, another customary action. However, Rep. John Wright, GOPer of Broken Arrow, would have none of it and called for a vote, which failed 20-64, allowing Jones' prayer to be included in the Journal but NOT the introductory remarks referencing Jones' fiance. A selection of news stories and statements is available here:

No other previous prayer had been subjected to a vote of approval from the House membership. It wasn't the prayer itself that the GOPers objected to, though when one is trying to describe the behavior of Oklahoma GOPers, legislators in particular, one must assume they wake up every day in a bad temper.

For example, Mrs. Sally Kern, GOPer representative from HD 84, always has her knickers in a twist. So much so that I'm surprised she hasn't died of toxic twist syndrome. Here is a short history of Toxic Sally: .

It was the diversity Jones alluded to that was found objectionable. People in all walks of life usually take the opportunity to introduce important people in their lives. It's the rare inconoclast who doesn't have a special person in their life. Those who have no one often end their lives in violent anti-social behavior taking innocent people with them.

The most recent example is James David Adkisson, the self-confessed killer of two people in Knoxville, TN who at his sentencing released a "manifesto" you can read here:

Vulgar and violent as his thoughts are we must be aware of the ignorance and anti-social behavior that is passing for social activism.

Judging from his own words Adkisson fell into the manipulative trap of those who want the diversity of America to be stymied in order to create the permanent majority of a totalitarian government much in the mold that Karl Rove, lately of the Bush Administration, spoke of frequently. Just because the GOPers are temporarily out of power and discredited doesn't mean the Party of NO isn't planning for future elections. (

Here in Oklahoma we have several bellicose, anti-democratic, pro-authoritarian spokespeople who would seem to be right at home with convicted killer Adkisson.

Sally Kern and her colleagues recently held a consistory for patriotism, Clouds Over America, bringing in heavy hitters such John Birch Society leaders. A good inside look at that meeting can be read here: and: .

As Kern and her Krew talk about the need for more patriotism, religion, and the rule of law, we see hypocrisy showing through their arguments. As they press for more one-sided biblical viewpoints to be encoded in civil law, as well as religious monuments on public property, they get more belligerent and irrational when they run up against diversity of opinion. For them the earth remains flat, only their viewpoint matters, and the rest of us can go back to the closet.
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James Nimmo is active in progressive issues and believes no one should be denied their equality because of the accidents of birth and circumstances.
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