Oklahoma Board of Regents member Kirk Humphreys went on the attack against the LGBT community over the weekend, saying that the acceptance of gay people was a direct approval of pedophilia. It’s a tired line of damaging utter nonsense for which, for once, someone like Humphreys needs to feel measurable repercussions.

"Is homosexuality right or wrong?” Humphreys asked on Oklahoma TV over the weekend. "If it's OK, then it's OK for everybody and, quite frankly, it's OK for men to sleep with little boys."

It’s bad enough when we get lumped in with drug dealers, murderers, thieves and other illegal activities. Yet people like Humphreys go specifically to the pedophilia angle because they know it hits home for a percent of the population who have no real understanding of gay men. He knows suggesting all gay men have sex with boys is not remotely true, but he doesn’t care. It scores political points against those dirty gays.

What’s particularly tough about this for me is the damage it does to gay men coaching high school and youth sports. As I’ve talked to gay coaches over the years, this destructive, false line of thinking has forced some of them to rethink what they do and how they approach their teams. Some of them feel they have to always be ready to defend themselves against accusations of pedophilia. They often avoid the locker room. They make sure they are not alone in an office with a player.

One of them even had an athletic director direct him to stay out of his own team’s locker room.

Men like Humphreys relish in this dynamic. They want to hurt gay men.

Gay men I know have zero interest in, attraction to or remote thought about any high school-age boy. The likening of my 15-year relationship with my husband to some pervert’s sexual engagement with a 15-year-old is an egregious assault on my very being.

Yet to Humphreys my very existence is an open invitation to pedophilia.

Those gay coaches are a threat to children.

This is the mentality he brings to decisions about the Univ. of Oklahoma.

At a time when sexually repressed straight men across politics, business, entertainment and sports are being held accountable for their assault on women, it’s galling that a man like Humphreys would go this route. Straight men – including his fellow Republican, Roy Moore – are the people most often accused of pedophilia. It’s been almost entirely straight men, along with a handful of gay and bisexual men, who have faced countless accusations of rape, harassment and molestation over the last couple of months.

If you follow Humphreys’ logic, it seems it’s actually time to ban the acceptance of heterosexuality: Those damn straights have gotten out of control.

Yet it’s gay men who are forced to live with this hurtful misinformation campaign that Humphreys so willingly embraced over the weekend.

To have this man in charge of the athletic department at the Univ. of Oklahoma, making decisions about coaches and athletes, is indefensible.

His apology may have been as offensive intellectually as his anti-gay comment was ethically, claiming his comments simply “lacked clarity” and “led some people to believe that I was equating homosexuality with pedophilia. That was not my intention or desire.”

Bullshit. He’s not only a liar and a homophobe but a coward.

Homophobes intent on destroying gay people have used this absurd connection between gay men and sex with boys for as long as I’ve been alive. Humphreys did mean to assert that gay men are all pedophiles, because he knows that successfully doing so is one way to destroy any shot we have of equality and decency.

To be clear, Humphreys’ apology did not reflect a sudden embrace of the gay community. He made it perfectly clear, even upon reflection, that he believes homosexuality is a sin and that same-sex couples should not be viewed as equal under the law.

“My moral stance about homosexuality is that it is against the teachings of Scripture,” he asserted on Monday.

Whether it’s based on a 2,000-year-old book or not, this is homophobia that has led him to bigotry.

Someone who would use tired, false stereotypes of gay men as sexual assaulters should not be a decision-maker for any academic institution, let alone a proud campus like the Univ. of Oklahoma.

It’s time to stop accepting apologies and non-apologies from people like Humphreys who go this route, particularly when said non-apology is as offensive as was his.

He intentionally lied and spread a damaging misconception about an entire class of people to damage their fight for equal justice. He made it that much harder for a gay high school coach in Tulsa to walk into his locker room this week and coach his boys basketball team. Humphreys expressed a lack of empathy and inability to represent the best interests of the thousands of gay Oklahomans, many of whom still struggle to get out from under the bigotry Humphreys spread.

If Humphreys is truly sorry, he’ll start with a $50k donation to Freedom Oklahoma to help combat the bigotry he has spread in his state, and he’ll take a three-month leave of absence from the Board of Regents to reflect on his bigotry and how to best rectify it.

Short of that, he should resign his post.

I’m tired of hearing gay men linked to pedophilia. I’m tired of coaches feeling the heavy weight of this lie. And I’m tired of accepting apologies for this line of thinking and move on.

Humphreys’ words cannot be dismissed without measurable repercussions.

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