Former Oklahoma mayor compares gay men to pedophiles in debate

Former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys made baffling remarks during a debate with Rep. Emily Virgin (D-OK) on Sunday (10 December).

The two appeared on the public affairs show Flash Point, discussing various topics like sexual harassment and Jerusalem.

Humphreys, who served as mayor from 1998 to 2003, and now sits on the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, made the comments while discussing Senator Al Franken (who is stepping down following harassment allegations).

‘So you’re asserting that there’s a right and wrong, and that people’s personal behavior matters in their public standing, and yet you defend Barney Frank,’ Humphreys says to Virgin during the program.

Frank is openly gay and a former Congressman from Massachusetts.

The comment clearly takes Virgin by surprise, who asks if there are any allegations against Frank or if Humphreys is just talking about his sexuality.

‘Is homosexuality right or wrong? It’s not relative. There’s a right and wrong,” he continues. ‘If it’s OK, then it’s OK for everybody and, quite frankly, it’s OK for men to sleep with little boys.’

He makes the comments around the 7:01 mark.

Virgin made a Facebook post about the exchange after it aired.

‘I was completely caught off guard by what I was hearing,’ she revealed.

She further clarified: ‘I wish that my comments had been stronger and more forceful, but I can assure you I did the best I could under the circumstances.’

She then called his comments ‘disgusting, offensive, and just plain wrong’.

An outpouring of criticism

Several others also condemned Humphreys’ remarks, including University of Oklahoma Student Government President J.D. Baker.

In a tweet, he released a statement labeling the comments as ‘outright disrespectful, out of line and ignorant’.

The University’s dean of International Studies also tweeted about it.

Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma also released a strongly-worded statement.

‘To compare gay men – and specifically Congressman Barney Frank – to pedophiles and sexual predators is a step way too far,’ he wrote.

‘LGBTQ youth are subjected to horrific harassment, intimidation, and bullying on a daily basis, and having bias and hate validated by a public official and leader like Mayor Humphreys is disheartening and frankly dangerous. I hope the former mayor knows the abuse of those kids increases every time someone like him makes a hateful statement.’

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