Students and LGBTQ advocates are calling for the resignation of Kirk Humphreys from the University of Oklahoma’s board of regents after he likened homosexuality to pedophilia on a local talk show.
The controversial statement was made during a taping of KFOR’s Flash Point, where Humphreys serves as co-host. Humphreys drew the following analogy while discussing the topic of the numerous sexual assault claims being directed against politicians.
“Is homosexuality right or wrong? It's not relative." Humphreys said. "There's a right and wrong, you just said it. 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.”
Oklahoma state Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, who also serves as Humphreys’ Flashpoint co-host, responded that she doesn't have a problem with homosexuality. Humphreys retorted, “Well, I do.”
A rally was held on campus Tuesday where students and faculty called for Humphreys' resignation and chanted, “No more Humphreys!”
Traci Baker, president of the Queer Student Association at the University of Oklahoma, released a statement this week demanding Humphreys’ “immediate resignation.”
"OU's Queer Student Association stands in firm opposition to Kirk Humphreys and the homophobic remarks made on KFOR's Flashpoint on Dec. 10th.
The University of Oklahoma should be a place of inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals and having a member of the Board of Regents attribute the moral decline of America to members of the LGBTQ+ community is unacceptable.
OU's Queer Student Association is calling for the immediate resignation of Kirk Humphreys from the Board of Regents, and is issuing this open letter alongside members of the LGBTQ community of OU and its allies to do so."
More than 200 university alumni, faculty, staff, and students have attached their name to the letter.
“Of course, he has a right to his opinion, but he doesn’t have the right to be the regent of my university,” OU junior Andrea Harrison told KFOR. “He doesn’t have a right to say such negative things about people he’s supposed to represent.”
Humphreys issued a statement to KFOR, apologizing for his comments as well as granting a bit of transparency from his perspective on the heated matter:
"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. That was not my intention or desire. I apologize for my lack of clarity and realize this has resulted in a strong reaction by some and has hurt people’s feelings.
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.
For those that I have hurt, I’m sorry. For those who do not share my beliefs, I will defend your right to have a deeply held belief even if yours is different than mine."
University of Oklahoma President David Boren, in addition to numerous university leaders, has reproved Humphreys for his comments.
“I do not share his views on this matter,” Boren stated. "The university strongly reaffirms and takes great pride in its commitment to a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community which respects people of all backgrounds. We value and respect all members of our university family.”
Humphreys is a member of the OG&E Energy Corp. board of directors, CEO and chairman of the board of the Humphreys Company, and served as mayor of Oklahoma City from 1998 to 2003. Humphreys graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1972.
Isaiah Denby is a college freshman from Tampa Bay, Florida studying economics and political science.