Share “Kern will now avoid group”

By Michael McNutt Modified: March 29, 2008 at 12:01 am •  Published: March 29, 2008


Newton-Edwards said Thursday she no longer is asking Kern to resign if she doesn't apologize for her earlier comments. She had made that request during a rally last week at the Capitol criticizing her anti-gay comments.

A rally in support of Kern is scheduled for noon Wednesday at the Capitol.

The Washington-based Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays issued a news release after Thursday's meeting with Kern.

In that release, there was no mention of Kern backing off her views as homosexuality. It said that Kern "did not express an apology ... nor did she back away from any of her earlier comments.”

In the news release, Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, said the group looked forward to "working with Kern to move equality forward.”

Kern said in her statement the group misinterpreted her views to state she was in favor of sexual orientation laws.

The release quoted Kern as saying she agreed with the idea that gay and lesbian Americans should not be fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation.

"I unequivocally do not support sexual orientation laws,” Kern said. "While I do not advocate employers going on a witch hunt to fire homosexual employees who are performing their jobs in a manner just like any heterosexual employee, I do not support laws that would force employers to check their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, speech, and association at the workplace door.”

Newton-Edwards said she would be disappointed to see communication with Kern end.

"This is still a struggle,” she said. "There's still, I guess angry feelings. I don't have any angry feelings.”