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Republican Candidate Supports Stoning Gays to Death

Scott Esk

Scott Esk is running in today's Oklahoma primary runoff election for a state house seat.

Cwnewser

Reporters in Oklahoma are asking a candidate with a violent past why he refuses to reply to their questions about comments he made years ago suggesting gay people should be executed.

Today, Republican Scott Esk faces fellow Republican Gloria Banister in a runoff for a state house seat.

Esk, 56, according to LGBTQ Nation, is being confronted by the local press about his previous comments, and, "He's not handling them well."

Esk said in a video he disseminated online on Sunday to "set the record straight" for the third time that reports of his views were manufactured to make him appear in a bad light, calling them "hit pieces."

As a result of a local news station reporting on his old comments, he responded in a YouTube video on July 15. He said that he believes his stance on homosexuality makes him a "Christian."

"I've stood up for what is right in the past, and I intend to in the future, and I am right now. That's got me in trouble," Esk said. "The media are not my friends, as far as I'm concerned."

In 2014, when Esk was running for statewide office, KFOR, Oklahoma City's NBC affiliate, reported that Esk commented on Facebook the previous year in response to somebody's question about whether homosexuals should be executed -- "presumably by stoning" -- following Pope Francis's comments suggesting he cannot judge them.

"I think we would be totally in the right to do it," he wrote. "That goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I'm largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss."

While running for state representative, Esk defended his remarks by stating that executions of gay people were a matter of Old Testament law that "came directly from God."

He followed those comments with three videos that "set the record straight." However, his only achievement in the videos is solidifying his anti-LGBT+ bigotry.

Esk harassed his pastor and elder at Oklahoma City's 84th Street Church of Christ, according to court documents discovered recently, as reported by KFOR in July. In 2007, his then-wife filed for divorce after he was allegedly physically and emotionally abusive to her and their sons.

According to KFOR, while he said people had the right to stone homosexuals, he later said he would not make homosexuality a capital offense if elected. However, he wants Oklahoma's divorce laws to be more strict.

The June primary was almost evenly split between Esk and Banister. Esk got 36.6 percent, and Banister received 35.9 percent of the vote.

Ellyn Hefner, the Democrat running for the seat, will be facing the winner of the runoff election in the November general election.

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Christopher Wiggins

Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).
Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).