Oklahoma's first openly transgender candidate runs for state office

Tue. June 8, 2010 12:00 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

brittany novotny

photo credit // tulsaworld.com
Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma City attorney Brittany Novotny has become the first known openly transgender candidate to run for office in Oklahoma.

Novotny, a Democrat, filed on Tuesday to run against Rep. Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City) for State Representative in House District 84.

A staunch Christian, Kern made national headlines in 2008 when she said in a speech to about 50 Republicans that "not everybody's lifestyle is equal, just like not all religions are equal" and that she believes gays are an even bigger threat than "terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat."

Kern also accused homosexuals of pushing a "gay agenda" and trying to "indoctrinate" children as young as 2-years-old through tolerance education and gay-straight alliances. "This stuff—it's deadly," Kern said, "and it's spreading, and it will destroy our young people. It will destroy this nation."

Novotny said Kern has pushed her own agenda instead of focusing on issues important to her district.

"For six years, we've had someone who has not represented her district, has been ineffective on problems and is bad for business," Novotny said in a press release.

"I understand there are going to be some folks who try to make this election about the fact that my medical history includes a gender transition, but I'm running for office because I believe I'm the best candidate to fight for jobs, education, and transportation I understand that state government runs best when it focuses on helping small businesses create jobs and guarantees all of our children can get a great public education."

Kern says she does not plan to use Novotny's gender transition against her this fall.

This is Novotny's first time to run for public office. She is a graduate of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and UC – Hastings College of the Law. She started her own law practice in Oklahoma City in 2008, and has been active in community organizations, including serving as National Committee Woman for YDO and on the Community Advisory Board for Supporting Kids in Independent Living, a program of Youth Services of Oklahoma County.