University of Oklahoma regent ignites outrage, protest

AP News
|
Posted: Dec 12, 2017 6:32 PM
University of Oklahoma regent ignites outrage, protest

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Embattled University of Oklahoma Regent Kirk Humphreys said Tuesday that he has no plans to step down from his post despite calls for his resignation after comments he made comparing gay people to pedophiles.

The real estate developer and former Oklahoma City mayor told The Associated Press in an email that it wasn't his intention to compare homosexuality with pedophilia.

"I apologize for my lack of clarity and realize this has resulted in a strong reaction by some and has hurt people's feelings," Humphreys wrote.

Humphreys added that his moral position on homosexuality is that it is "against the teachings of Scripture."

"Although I know this upsets some people, it is my belief," he said.

An alumni group has called for Humphreys' resignation, and the student body president encouraged the campus to voice its opinion on Humphreys' "ignorant" words.

About 100 protesters showed up at a regents meeting Tuesday seeking Humphreys' resignation, but Humphreys, who was out of town, did not attend. The meeting ended with no discussion about the comments he made on an Oklahoma City public affairs TV show that aired Sunday.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who appointed Humphreys in 2012, said earlier Tuesday that Humphreys should stay in his job despite comments that she called "regrettable and unfortunate."

"They do not represent my views, nor should they represent those of the University of Oklahoma," Fallin said. "Regent Humphreys has apologized, and it is time to move forward."

Humphreys and others were discussing allegations against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, who has announced he'll resign, and President Donald Trump when Humphreys began to ramble about other subjects. He said he was "going to make a lot of people mad today."

"Is homosexuality right or wrong? It's not relative; there's a right and wrong," Humphreys said. "If it's OK, then it's OK for everybody and, quite frankly, it's OK for men to sleep with little boys."

Recommended
15 Days Till Trump Crushes Them Again
Kevin McCullough

University of Oklahoma President David Boren released a statement saying Humphreys was not speaking on behalf of the university. Boren said the school was committed to diversity and inclusiveness, adding: "I do not share his views on this matter."

Humpheys' son, Blair Humphreys, the managing director and developer of the new Wheeler District residential development district in downtown Oklahoma City, issued a statement distancing himself from his father's comments, which he described as "hurtful and unfair."

A state lawmaker who appeared on the program with Kirk Humphreys pushed back at him on the show, saying it was wrong to compare sexual misconduct and crimes to the legal behavior of consenting adults.

"Mr. Humphreys' comments were disgusting, offensive, and just plain wrong," Rep. Emily Virgin, a Democrat from Oklahoma City, later said on her Facebook page. "I unequivocally stand with the LGBT community."

___

Follow Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy