Okie Funk is currently listed on The Fix in The Washington Post as one of the best state-based political blogs in the country.
Dr. Hochenauer was given a Marshall Gregory Award for Excellence in Education Reporting for Editorials by the Oklahoma Education Association in 2010.
Okie Funk: Always on the historical record . . .
Okie Funk, The Book, or Thoughts Along The Armadillo Highway, is a selective collection of this blog's posts published from 2004 to 2006. The book chronicles the political climate In Oklahoma during that interesting and changing time period.
To get your free copy of the book, simply download below the version of your choice.
U.S. Rep. James Lankford has joined the legendary ranks of Oklahoma’s political conservatives who openly express archaic views about gay people, and it’s been captured on video by the ThinkProgress blog.
Last week, I wrote about the somewhat muted response from Oklahoma’s conservatives to President Barack Obama’s announcement that he supports same-sex marriage and that remains true, but ThinkProgress caught up with Lankford, a Republican, last week and asked him about his position on job discrimination against gay people.
Lankford’s position is simply that homosexuality is a “choice” and thus the gay community doesn’t merit the same official anti-discrimination protections given to other groups. Here’s what he said, according to ThinkProgress:
Well, you’re now dealing with behavior and I’m trying to figure out exactly what you’re trying to mean by that. Because you’re dealing with — race and sexual preferences are two different things. One is a behavior-related and preference-related and one is something inherently — skin color, something obvious, that kind of stuff. You don’t walk up to someone on the street and look at them and say, “Gay or straight?”
When asked if “you don’t think someone is born gay necessarily?,” Lankford responded this way: “Do I personally? No. I don’t. I think it’s a choice issue. Are there tendencies and such? Yes. But I think it’s a choice issue.”
Lankford’s comments came after a group of Senators called for hearings on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would largely ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace.
The ThinkProgress piece and video has a sort of “gotcha” feel to it, but Lankford and others in Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation should be held accountable for their outdated views. The idea that homosexuality is just a “choice” for people has been debunked by the world’s medical and science communities for years.
Is Lankford’s position based on religious beliefs? Is it political expediency?
Lankford’s comments may not be that earth shattering for folks here in red-dirt country, but even in Oklahoma there’s a growing tolerance and acceptance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) community.
The Oklahoma City Council, for example, recently passed an anti-discrimination measure that includes sexual orientation. That was an important step. Oklahoma City is in Lankford’s district.
How much longer can Oklahoma’s conservative politicians use intolerance of gay people as a campaign tool? It might still sell well with older Christian fundamentalists, but the demographics clearly show younger people are more tolerant and accepting of the LGBT community. It’s a matter of time.
Ice Storm Blues Thanksgiving 2015
Oh, the ice coming down on my trees
Oh, the ice coming down on my trees
And I'm begging the clouds, fists in a squeeze
Don't take my branches, please--from "Ice Storm Blues Thanksgiving 2015"
As a longtime...
It's always funny whenever The Oklahoman criticizes what its editorial board sees as the big bad liberal bias in the corporate media. It's so funny that it becomes ridiculous. But the hysterical laughter gets followed by sad tears.
An editorial in...
Arrr! It’s meself, me and, aye, yer none other than Plansky, yer pirate of the turkey variety, sailin’ in with my diverse crew of fowls giving away me thanks and planks for yer holiday here in the week of Oklahoma BEDLAM arrrrr. BEDLAM! Arrrrr! Yer...
Okie Funk has been in existence since 2004 and is considered one of the oldest and most reliable political blogs in Oklahoma. Created by Kurt Hochenauer, the blog has corralled millions of hits over nearly 12 years on its more than 1,500 posts. It has been linked to, mentioned by or republished on numerous national and local publications and sites since it was founded. It has won awards dating back to 2006 and has been ranked twice in The Washington Post's The Fix column as one of the best state political blogs in the country. Hochenauer has also written political commentary that has appeared in local and national publications. He has appeared on radio and television as a political commentator. Prior to earning his Ph.D. in 1991 and becoming an English professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, Hochenauer worked as a journalist at The Kansas City Times and Star, The Oklahoman and The Tulsa Tribune.
Here are some Oklahoma sites and blogs in alphabetical order: