What would have been a regularly scheduled Oklahoma State Regents Higher Education Board Meeting, turned into a scene of protests Tuesday afternoon with crowds of people calling for the resignation of OU Regent Kirk Humphreys.
This, after Humphreys appeared on a local political talk show Sunday saying, “Is homosexuality right or wrong- it's not relative. There's a right and wrong you just said it. So, it's either right or wrong and if it's okay then it's okay from everyone. Quite frankly it's okay for men to sleep with little boys if it's okay.”
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Humphreys is also the former mayor of Oklahoma City. Those protesting say by comparing homosexuals to pedophiles, Humphreys should not be in a position to lead the flagship University of Oklahoma.
OU’s President David Boren did release a statement Monday, but would not address protestors directly this afternoon during the meeting. Boren says it unclear if Regent Humphreys will resign.
“Only he has that decision, he solely determines that,” said President Boren.
While on the show, Humphreys sat across from State Representative Emily Virgin, who's still stunned from his statement. Virgin says those words followed a conversation of sexual harassment in Washington DC, then drifted to former politician Barney Frank.
“He said will you defend Barney Frank, and I was unclear what Barney Frank did, if anything, and then it became clear the he was talking about Barney Frank because he's gay,” said Rep. Virgin.
Students say they will not ignore Humphreys’ message, and are calling for swift action to be taken by the school. They say this impacts the school, even for those who don’t identify as LBGTQ.
“Just because it's not a community you belong in, that doesn't mean it's not a community that you shouldn't stand up for,” said OU Freshman Faith Blank.
Those close to Humphreys say he is not in the country right now to return comment, and will not return until the end of the week.
Previously, the regent did say he was simply standing up for his beliefs when making his statements.
This is a critical moment for the school, because President Boren will soon retire, those on the board are in charge of appointing the next president to serve the university.
In addition to calls for his OU resignation, the Oklahoma City Public School board chair has also called for Humphreys to resign from the John Rex Charter Elementary Board.