• OU regent Kirk Humphreys to resign after controversial comments

    By: Rick Maranon


    Story Highlights

    • Kirk Humphreys made controversial comments appearing to compare the LGBTQ community to pedophiles on an Oklahoma City talk show.
    • Humphreys is an Oklahoma University regent.
    • He announced his resignation 

    TULSA, Okla. - UPDATE: Humphreys announced Thursday his intention to resign, saying the board indicated his presence on the board became an issue after the commentary.

    University president David Boren shared this statement: 

    "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 family feels valued. I hope this experience will serve as an opportunity for all members of the OU family to recommit ourselves to this spirit of inclusivity. I also applaud the Board for acknowledging the many members of our community who made their voices heard in this matter."

    People in Tulsa gathered to protest what some are calling anti-gay comments made by an Oklahoma University regent.

    Kirk Humphreys made controversial comments about gay people on an episode of an Oklahoma City talk show.

    Humphreys is accused of comparing homosexuality to pedophilia during a discussion concerning allegations against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and President Donald Trump.

    Many have called for the Oklahoma University regent to resign in light of the comments. Some, including Governor Mary Fallin, have reportedly said that Humphreys should keep his seat.

    Humphreys is not only someone who will have a say in who gets to lead the University of Oklahoma after President David L. Boren retires, but he is also set to take the chairmanship of the university's board of regents for the 2018-2019 school year.

    The University of  Oklahoma's Board of Regents meets Tuesday with intentions to speak about the controversy.

    Oklahomans for Equality planned a demonstration for Tuesday at 5 p.m. Demonstrators gathered at the southwest corner intersection of 41st and Yale.

    The protest wrapped up a day of protests at University of Oklahoma campuses in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, where many have demanded the former Oklahoma City mayor resign from the leadership board of the state's largest public university.

    University alumni and Oklahoma City LGBTQ rights group Freedom Oklahoma also led a similar protest at Tuesday's Board of Regents meeting in Oklahoma City.

    Toby Jenkins, executive director of Oklahomans for Equality, said Humphreys previously fanned the flames of anti-gay rhetoric when he was mayor of Oklahoma City, and though he was not officially speaking for the university regents, Jenkins says it's clearly implied that a man in his position is representing the office he holds with the school.

    "Once again, we have someone saying something stupid that makes us sound like we're a hateful place and that everyone is a bigot," Jenkins said. "And now, instead of it coming from the state capitol, it's coming from someone who has a hand in leading one of our state's largest publicly-funded universities that's trying to attract the best and brightest from all walks of life."

    Jenkins said the comments could reflect poorly on education in the state.

    "As if people didn't think our education system in our state was messed up as it is, here you have someone further ruining the reputation, this time at a university," Jenkins said.

    Jenkins said a representative of the Schusterman family, the people who have given so much to OU's Tulsa campus that their name is on multiple buildings and markers, has announced they will officially ask for Humphreys' resignation.

    Oklahomans for Equality shared this statement about the event on Facebook: 

    Oklahomans for Equality is calling for Kirk Humphreys to resign. 
    Join us for a protest rally at the intersection of 41st and Yale on the southwest corner on the public sidewalk. Meet at 5:00 p.m. 

    Bring your signs. Dress warm. Use the sidewalks and crosswalks. Please use the public parking lots in the area and then spend money in those merchants businesses. Do not step on the campus or park on the OU Tulsa campus. Rush hour traffic will be heavy. Please be careful. 

    We are appalled by remarks made by former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys on NBC affiliate KFOR'sSunday morning "Flashpoint" television program. 

    Humphreys, who also is a member of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, equated homosexuality with pedophilia and insulted former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who is gay. 

    Coincidentally, Humphreys is slated to be the chairman of the OU regents in 2018-19. As such, he will play a large role in selecting the university's next president. Oklahomans for Equality does not believe that someone with such repugnant beliefs should hold such a leadership position at an institution of higher learning charged with shaping the futures of thousands of Oklahoma young people, many of whom are LGBTQ.

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