By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com June 11 2014 8:47 PM ET
As Brunei draws international denunciations for a law making homosexuality punishable with death by stoning, there’s a candidate for state representative in Oklahoma who says he has no problem with such a penalty.
Scott Esk, a Tea Party adherent seeking the Republican nomination in House District 91, says he would not propose legislation to institute death by stoning for being gay, but he doesn’t find the idea objectionable. A reporter for Moore Daily, an Oklahoma news website, recently discovered a Facebook exchange from last summer in which Esk endorsed stoning. His statements included “I think we would be totally in the right to do it,” “ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss,” and “if men wink at such perversions, God may have no choice than to judge such nations with calamities.” He added, “I never said I would author legislation to put homosexuals to death, but I didn’t have a problem with it.”
When the Moore Daily reporter called the candidate to ask him about the matter, Esk claimed he didn’t remember the Facebook comments, but he said, “That was done in the Old Testament under a law that came directly from God, and in that time there it was totally just. It came directly from God. I have no plans to reinstitute that in Oklahoma law. I do have some very huge moral misgivings about those kinds of sins.”
Esk’s campaign website identifies him as a former computer programmer who now owns a window-washing business. It describes his platform as “100% Pro-Life,” “100% Pro 2nd Amendment,” and “100% Traditional Family Values.” It also outlines his opposition to what he calls “frivolous divorce,” which he says “raised its ugly head in the Esk home.” He is still trying to reconcile with his wife, he says.
He is one of five candidates seeking the Republican nomination for state representative in District 91, which covers a portion of Oklahoma City. The incumbent, Republican Mike Reynolds, is leaving office due to term limits. One Democrat, Trey Puckett, is seeking the seat as well. The primary election will be June 24.
Audio of the Moore Daily interview with Esk is available here, and you can watch a report from Oklahoma City TV station KFOR below.