Hundreds of supporters turned out to the State Capitol Wednesday for a rally in support of embattled Republican legislator Sally Kern, under fire in recent weeks over her comments about gays.
The largely white, working- class crowd - with many members wearing patriotic or religious symbols - crowded three floors of the Capitol, disrupting a state luncheon held in the rotunda for state 4- H students.
Supporters for Kern prayed, spoke, sang patriotic anthems, cheered and clapped throughout the service.
Kern broke down and cried as she thanked her supporters for sending e-mails and letters encouraging her in what she called a "cultural war" against the gay lifestyle, saying opponents had excoriated her in recent weeks.
"I can't repeat most of those names. Some of the good names I've been called have been courageous, brave and a hero," she told the crowd. "I have more trouble relating to those good names than I do the bad names. I say that because I know I'm a sinner and not worthy of God's grace. And I know also that I'm not courageous, and I'm not brave, and I'm certainly not a hero. I'm just an earthen vessel. An old clay pot."
State troopers provided security for the rally, often directing Kern supporters and spectators away from the rotunda area where the 4- H luncheon occurred.
Kern was introduced by her husband, The Rev. Steve Kern, pastor of the Oklahoma City- based Olivet Baptist Church. Rev. Kern said his wife's efforts against gays were to support the First Amendment rights of free speech and religion. "Ben Fenwick
More on Sally Kern:
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State Democratic Party responds to Kern's comments
Kern's comments spark debate - but not among House colleagues
Rep. Sally Kern responds to criticism of her remarks