OKLAHOMA CITY - Kirk Humphreys is resigning from the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents following backlash over comments he made earlier this month.
The former Oklahoma City mayor and current regent board member made his announcement Thursday following his controversial comments on homosexuality made on an episode of FlashPoint.
“Even though this Board can’t remove me, I did not want my presence on the board to be a problem to the regents or to make the path of the university more difficult,” Humphreys said during a special meeting with the board.
During a discussion of sexual harassment in Congress on the episode of Flash Point, Humphreys voiced his opinion regarding whether homosexuality is “right or wrong.” Some who watched say at one point, he seemed to link homosexuality to pedophilia, an opinion KFOR does not endorse. He later apologized for the comment.
On Tuesday, Humphreys joined Freedom Oklahoma for a joint press conference, where Humphreys apologized in greater detail. He said in part, “Let me be clear, I do not think that homosexuality in any way disqualifies a person from full participation as a citizen in our community including service in public office. At no point in my public or private life have I sought to take any action that precludes or otherwise diminishes the opportunity for every person to be treated as equals.”
In a previous apology, Humphreys, in part, said “For clarification, my moral stance about homosexuality is that it is against the teachings of scripture.”
Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, called Thursday’s decision the right move. The organization championed for Humphrey’s resignation shortly after the comment was made.
“I have got to say thank you to Regent Humpreys. He was the only one who could make this decision, and he made the right one. Thank you to the board of regents for taking this action so swiftly and making sure we got to a resolution,” said Stevenson. “I think that what we saw today was the way things should be done rather than having pitch forks and fights in the streets. We had people coming together to make adult decisions and to set an example for the next generation of Oklahoma.”
OU student body president J.D. Baker said the entire incident and resolution should serve as examples for how much power students have.
“I do forgive him but the thing is at the end of the day, we still have to have leaders that don’t marginalize people and realize that every person deserves a certain level of dignity and respect,” explained Baker.
Humphreys said he recognizes OU’s student body is large and diverse and hopes they learn to be "gracious in what you say."
"Find the value in people no matter who they are and what they are, what political party they’re in, what their sexual orientation is, whether they’re rich or poor, black or white, democrat or republican,” he said.
Humphreys says he will resign before the start of the Spring 2018 semester, which begins on January 16.
OU President David Boren released the following statement after Humphreys announcement:
“I thank regent Humphreys for his years of service on the Board. I believe he has made the right decision for himself and for the University of Oklahoma.
We will continue to move forward with our steadfast commitment to building a strong and inclusive community where every member of the university feels valued. I hope this experience will serve as an opportunity for all members of the OU family to recommit ourselves to the spirit of inclusivity. I also applaud the Board for acknowledging the many members of our community who made their voices heard in the manner.”