A former Oklahoma City mayor is under fire for comparing being gay to sexual harassment and pedophilia.
Kirk Humphreys was originally invited to NBC’s local affiliate’s show Flash Point to serve as a counterpoint to Democratic Rep. Emily Virgin from the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The show segment was centered around Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who has announced his impending resignation after facing multiple sexual harassment accusations. And Flash Point was supposed to stay on Franken—until Humphreys turned from Franken to former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who is openly gay.
“Is homosexuality right or wrong?” he asked on the show. “It’s not relative. There’s a right and wrong. You just said it. So it’s either right or wrong, and if it’s OK, then it’s OK for everybody, and quite frankly it’s OK for men to sleep with little boys if it’s OK.”
Virgin, confused by Humphreys’ remarks, pressed him for an answer. But Humphreys didn’t bring up Frank in relation to any sexual harassment claims. Humphreys just thinks Democrats believe morality is “relative.”
“I’m saying there is a standard of right and wrong,” he said. “We’ve gotten to where… there’s no right or wrong, it’s just all relative. It’s not all relative!”
He then proceeded to bring up Oklahoma Sen. Ralph Shortey (R), who recently confessed to child sex trafficking after being found soliciting sex from an underage teen, and compared Shortey’s behavior to being gay. After which, Humphreys admitted he believes being gay is fundamentally wrong.
“If Ralph Shortey had that liaison with someone over 18, and it was consensual, then it’s OK even though he’s married?” Humphreys asked.
“Well, it’s not OK, but it’s not illegal,” Virgin replied. “There were child pornography charges and that is a completely different realm, that is not about homosexuality.”
Virgin has since responded to Humphreys’ conduct on Facebook, saying that she was “caught off guard” by the comments, which she called “disgusting” and “offensive.” Meanwhile, Humphreys apologized for his behavior in an official statement obtained by KFOR.
“I regret that my comments on Flash Point regarding homosexuality were not clear and led some people to believe that I was equating homosexuality with pedophilia,” he said in the statement. “For clarification, my moral stance about homosexuality is that it is against the teachings of scripture. Although I know this upsets some people, it is my belief. In America, we have the right to believe as we choose and to freely express that belief.”
Most striking of all about this controversy, however, is the fact that Humphreys works with the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents. That means Humphreys’ bigoted views could impact the university’s growth and development. Meanwhile, the board has criticized Humphreys’ behavior, stressing the governing body’s commitment to all peoples.
“The Board disagrees with the recent public statements made by Regent Kirk Humphreys regarding homosexuality and we reiterate our commitment to fairness and inclusion throughout the University community,” the board told KFOR.