OKLAHOMA CITY — Students and LGBTQ advocates gathered Tuesday to call for the resignation of Kirk Humphreys from University of Oklahoma’s board of regents.
The rally came days after Humphreys made a controversial comment on homosexuals on KFOR’s Flash Point. Some who watched the show said Humphreys' opinion ended up linking homosexuality to pedophilia.
(Flash Point has been on the air for more than 20 years. Every possible subject - every varied opinion - has been discussed over the course of those decades. What has remained consistent is the policy regarding the political affairs program that neither the host, the analysts nor the guests speak for KFOR.)
“Of course, he has a right to his opinion, but he doesn’t have the right to be the regent of my university,” said OU junior Andrea Harrison. “He doesn’t have a right to say such negative things about people he’s supposed to represent.”
Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman was a guest on the show Sunday. She said she was thrown off by the comment, as they were initially discussing sexual harassment allegations in Congress.
Virgin was invited as a guest speaker Tuesday at the rally.
“I’ve been especially proud of the students at OU for taking such a strong stance and realizing what an important role a regent at the university has, especially a regent who is set to become the chair of the board at a time when we’re searching for the next president,” she said.
Humphreys has since released this statement:
“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.”
However, advocates at the rally, such as Freedom Oklahoma executive director Troy Stevenson, claim the apology was not sincere.
“When we apologize in this country, we take responsibility and own what we did. What he did was say, 'Oh, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.' That’s not an apology. That’s a deflection,” Stevenson said.
The rally was held right before an OU board of regents meeting at Robert M. Bird Library in Oklahoma City.