Karen Handel, the Sarah Palin acolyte who appears bent on bringing-to-Gilead the Komen Foundation if she doesn’t ruin its reputation first, is not simply opposed to Planned Parenthood and its “babykilling” practices. She’s the whole Palin package: she opposes marriage equality, and she opposes adoption by same-sex couples, too. All dressed up in a campaign for ethical reform of government by the ‘good ole boys.’
Karen Handel hid behind government reform when she ran for Georgia governor, just as Komen hid its forced-birth policies behind an attempt to rule out grantees that were “under government investigation.”
Q: Do you view committed gay relationships as being less legitimate than committed heterosexual relationships?
A: As a Christian, I view relationships and marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Q: But what about the legitimacy of the relationship? Do you have any gay friends? Do you know gay couples?
A: Of course I do. Are we going to spend our whole day talking on this issue?
Q: I want to know how you feel about this.
A: I’ve been very clear. And you know, as a Christian, marriage is between a man and a woman. I do not think that gay relationships are — they are not what God intended. And that’s just my viewpoint on it. Others might disagree with that. But I would also hope that if you look at what is happening in our state, we’ve got issues we need to be focused on in Georgia . We have a constitutional amendment against gay marriage. And it’s something that I supported wholeheartedly. We have that, and let’s get dealing with the other issues that we also need to deal with in Georgia. And the press can help with that. (Laughs).
Q: Frequently, folks in the Legislature kind of threaten to — there are always rumblings in the Legislature that they may outlaw gay adoptions. You’re against gay adoption.
A: I am against gay adoption. But remember — I mean, if there is legislation on that, certainly I will follow that and look at it. But in the end, ultimately courts are going to be the ones to have to make the decision on that and it’s always in the best interests of the child. Do I think that gay parents is in the best interest of the child? No. But we do have our court system that deals with many and most of those issues.
Q: Would you favor outlawing gay adoptions?
A: Yeah, I would consider that, absolutely.
Q: Do you know any gay couples with children?
A: Not that I’m aware of.
Q: So you think gay couples are less qualified to function as parents than straight couples?
A: I think that for a child to be in a household — in a family in a household with a situation where the parents are not married, as in one man and one woman, is not the best household for a child.
Q: Is it better or worse than a single parent household?
A: Doug, I’m really trying to be straightforward with you but I’m not going to debate all the nuances. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I think that marriage is between a man and a woman. And that’s what I believe, and I don’t know what more you would like me to add to that.
Q: I guess I want to know why you think gay parents aren’t as legitimate as heterosexual parents.
A: Because I don’t.
Q: (Pause) Well, I realize that.
A: Well, Doug, we’re not going to spend the whole day discussing this issue. And you know, it ’s really kind of disappointing — we invited you on this (leg of the bus trip).
Q: I know.
A: So we’re going to need to move on.
Why don’t you think gay parents are legitimate?
Because I don’t.
LGBTQ people, and our supporters, who participate in Komen events need to know that this bigot Karen Handel is in the executive suite at the Susan G Komen Foundation. She remains there, with the full support of the Board and the CEO, Susan Brinker, despite the terrible damage she did to the organization this week.
These anti-gay views of hers were published and known prior to her being hired as Senior Vice President for Public Policy. And, in that role, she drove the decision to defund Planned Parenthood [my bold].
“Karen Handel was the prime instigator of this effort, and she herself personally came up with investigation criteria,” the source, who requested anonymity for professional reasons, told HuffPost. “She said, ‘If we just say it’s about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.'”
Emails between Komen leadership on the day the Planned Parenthood decision was announced, which were reviewed by HuffPost under the condition they not be published, confirm the source’s description of Handel’s sole “authority” in crafting and implementing the Planned Parenthood policy.
What other organizations are on Karen Handel’s de-fund list?
When Komen’s board voted on the policy, several members asked who would be affected by the new policy. Elizabeth Thompson, Komen’s president, said, according to Mr. Raffaelli: “Planned Parenthood is the only one we know of. If we find others, those would be impacted, too.”
Where else has she decided to put her imprint? We’ve always known that choice, marriage equality, and adoption rights were intertwined by the religious right. Non-procreative sex is the enemy, for them. Now we must ask: does this Komen executive’s agenda include de-funding other organizations that don’t meet her radical-right standards?