A former Republican official stunned a TV audience this week – by claiming that if gay politicians are accepted, paedophiles should be too.
Kirk Humphreys, the former Mayor of Oklahoma City, made the shocking claim during a discussion on local TV station KFOR.
In the segment Humphreys clashed with Democratic Representative Emily Virgin, who had been discussing allegations of sexual assault by Senator Al Franken.
Responding to her concerns, Humphreys invoked Barney Frank – the first openly gay representative in US history.
Frank has not been accused of any sexual impropriety, but Humphreys suggested he was “morally wrong” for being gay.
Challenging Rep. Virgin, he said: “Let me get this straight… you’re asserting that there’s a right and wrong, and people’s personal behaviours matter in their public standing.
“And yet you defend Barney Frank. Is homosexuality right or wrong?”
When Rep. Virgin responded that she doesn’t think homosexuality is wrong, Humphreys cut in: “Well I do.”
He added: “It’s not relative. There’s a right and wrong, you just said it.
“If it’s OK, then it’s OK for everybody and quite frankly it’s OK for men to sleep with little boys if it’s OK.”
He added: “I’m saying there is a standard of right and wrong.
“In our society we’ve gotten to where… I’m going to make a lot of people mad today… we’ve gotten to where there’s no right or wrong, it’s just all relative. It’s not all relative.”
Rep. Virgin shot back: “To compare Barney Frank being a homosexual to Al Franken or John Conyers or the President or Roy Moore making unwanted [sexual advances] is wrong.”
Democratic Representative Emily Virgin, who also appeared on the panel, posted a statement condemning the comments.
She said: “By now you may have watched my appearance on this morning’s Flash Point and Mr. Humphreys’ extremely unfortunate and offensive comments. I want to share a couple thoughts on the show.
“I was completely caught off guard by what I was hearing. I probably shouldn’t have been, but I had no idea that he believed the things he said.
“I was prepared to talk about Jerusalem, sexual harassment, and the state budget, so when Mr. Humphreys attacked the LGBT community, it took me a second to switch gears and make sure I really heard what I thought I did.
“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.
“So, to be completely clear: Mr. Humphreys’ comments were disgusting, offensive, and just plain wrong. I unequivocally stand with the LGBT community. Always have. Always will.”
Freedom Oklahoma executive director Troy Stevenson said: “Mayor Humphreys statements on Flash Point this morning were completely shocking.
“To compare gay men – and specifically Congressman Barney Frank – to paedophiles and sexual predators is a step way too far.
“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 – like he did this morning.
“Freedom Oklahoma would be happy to have a public conversation with the former Mayor about how his words affect vulnerable Oklahoma youth.
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“We would also like to thank Representative Emily Virgin for taking Kirk Humphreys to task for his ignorant message.”
Check out the clip below:
Of course, homophobic lawmakers in the state have a chequered history.
Police recently released body cam footage of ‘traditional values’ politician Ralph Shortey, who fell from grace when he was caught in a motel room with a teenage male prostitute.
Shortey was a Republican state Senator and a senior member of Donald Trump’s primary campaign team in Oklahoma, but quit earlier this year after he was arrested on child prostitution charges.
The ‘traditional values’ politician, who is married with children, was discovered in a hotel room with a 17-year-old boy who, according to authorities, Shortey had hired as a prostitute.
While serving in the state senate, Shortey described himself as a defender of ‘traditional values’ and had routinely voted with his Republican colleagues on bills targeting LGBT people.
Just months before his arrest he had voted for a measure to allow business owners to discriminate against LGBT people.