"So what I'm willing to do is continue to work with her. If she's willing to possibly have some meetings where we have dialogue and discussion about these issues, I think that is productive. Newton-Edwards, who does not live in Kern's district, said she wants to continue a dialogue with the lawmaker. Kern, a Republican, called her session with Newton-Edwards and others "a nice meeting.” "They didn't change my mind and I didn't change theirs,” she said. "They were very cordial and I was, too. They expressed their viewpoints and I expressed mine. During a rally last week at the Capitol, Newton-Edwards and others called upon Kern to apologize and to meet with gays and Muslims in her district. Newton-Edwards, associate pastor of the Open Arms United Church of Christ, said she invited Kern to attend a meeting of the Oklahoma City chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Kern said she was unsure if that could be arranged. "You know how many meetings we (in the Legislature) have to go to already,” she said. "I didn't promise them that I would go.” Newton-Edwards said Kern expressed her concerns about homosexuality, but that she had no problem with gays holding elected office. "She didn't back away at all from her views,” said Newton-Edwards. Among the others in the meeting were the Rev. Kathy McCallie, pastor of the Church of the Open Arms, and the Rev. Jim Shields, a retired United Methodist Church minister who lives in Kern's district.
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The Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards
What is PFLAG?Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays is a national nonprofit organization with more than 200,000 members and supporters and more than 500 affiliates in the United States.