By Stacy Martin and Patrick B. McGuigan
In an exclusive interview with The City Sentinel, former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys said he regrets the remarks he made on KFOR’s television show, “Flashpoint” recently that hurt members of the community.
The conversation that day touched on sexual misbehavior by public officials. They included Roy Moore, a former candidate for U.S. Senate who lost his election after accusations surfaced about sexual misconduct.
“The conversation moved over to sexuality. It didn’t need to,” he said. “Two of the most controversial issues are sexuality and abortion. Every person brings their own world view, through which the things they say and hear.“
“The public out there views it through their prism,” said Humphreys. “It falls to me, it’s my responsibility to speak the truth in love. I failed on both counts.
“It’s my fault. It was never my intention to equate homosexuality and pedophilia. I think I failed to speak the truth in love. I understand it, having watched it, how people came to that conclusion.”
A self-described evangelical Christian, he added, “I really believe there is a God and he speaks to us through the Bible,” he said of the foundation of his belief system.
Shortly after the episode of Flashpoint was completed, Humphreys had left Oklahoma City on a pre-planned trip to the Bahamas. The controversy resulting from the episode was initially handled by his son, Blair.
“This has been a very difficult week for Blair and a lot of the people around here,” Humphreys said in the interview, held at his office near downtown Oklahoma City. “He’s taken a lot of the brunt of it while I was out of town.”
Recounting moments from a long career in public life, Humphreys said he voted for Democrat Jim Roth, who is openly gay, for County Commissioner several years ago because he considered him the best man for the job. Roth brought together a group of leaders in the local gay community who met with Humphreys on Monday.
Humphreys was expected this morning (Tuesday) to read a statement at the offices of Freedom Oklahoma.
In part, Humphreys’ statement said, “I’ve watched the show more times that I can count — and I’m sorry. Some of the things I said do not reflect what I believe or the way that I’ve tried to live.
“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.
The statement continued, “Perhaps my greatest regret is that I’ve hurt a lot of people. I know I should always seek to speak the truth in love. I failed to clearly convey what I believe to be true and my tone was not loving. I apologize for my failure.”
Humphreys said “while I’m not perfect,” his 45-year career in the public eye has not been one marred by controversy.
He said he will not resign from any of the boards on which he sits unless asked by members of those boards to do so in their best interest. He is vice chairman of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents and is set to become chairman in his upcoming, final year, he said.
He is chairman of the John Rex Charter Elementary School board, serves on the Oklahoma Gas & Electric board of directors and as vice chairman of the five-member Oklahoma City Airport Trust.
He and Troy Stevenson, executive director of pro-LGBT organization Freedom Oklahoma Inc., were scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. this morning to jointly announce participation in a public forum to be held next month at the University of Oklahoma.
NOTE: An award-winning investigative journalist, Stacy Martin is former editor of The City Sentinel. McGuigan is editor and publisher of the newspaper, and founder of CapitolBeatOK, an online news service covering Oklahoma state government.