There’s been outrage in the US after a Republican lawmaker escaped censure for stating that the “homosexual lifestyle” is “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism.”

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern made the remarks in a speech at a small gathering of Republicans, unaware that she was being recorded. The audio later fell into the hands of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund who posted it on YouTube.

“The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation; it’s just a fact. I’m not gay bashing, but according to God’s word that is not the right kind of lifestyle. It has deadly consequences… They’re going after young children – as young as two year olds”,” she said in the recording.

She went on to claim that “Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than a few decades.”

Since the web-posting, Kern’s remarks have received national attention and resulted in thousands of e-mails and letters being sent to her, some of which reportedly included death threats.

Kern has remained unrepentant, and her Republican colleagues have refused to censure her, stating that she is allowed to hold her own opinion.

Gay rights groups have been less accommodating, with The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) describing her comments as “promoting hatred and bigotry.”

Lesbian talk show host Ellen DeGeneres took the unusual step of trying to call Kern live on her show. “I feel like there’s some misinformation going on here, and I think I need to call her,” DeGeneres said.

She was however met with a voicemail message saying that Kern’s inbox was full. “I bet! She’s busy, it seems like she’s getting some voicemails,” quipped DeGeneres.

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