A Republican candidate for the Oklahoma state House who boasts that he’s looking forward to “applying Biblical principles to Oklahoma law” is okay with gay people being stoned to death — even if he won’t legislate the practice himself.
MooreDaily.com, a local news website, surfaced a series of Scott Esk’s Facebook posts in a story published Tuesday. The posts, dated July 2013, cited scripture in response to an article on Pope Francis telling reporters “Who am I to judge gay people?”
“Men were commanded to put guilty parties to death who were guilty of certain acts, like homosexuality,” Esk wrote, according to screenshots archived by the news site.
“So just to be clear, you think we should execute homosexuals (presumably by stoning)?” another commenter asked.
“I think we would be totally in the right to do it,” Esk replied. “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.”
Asked whether he really believed homosexuality ought to be punishable by stoning, Esk told MooreDaily.com that he had “huge moral misgivings” about the behavior but had “no plans to reinstitute [stoning] in Oklahoma law.”
Pressed on whether he’d be okay with legislation permitting stoning of gays if it ever passed, Esk told the news site that he wouldn’t comment on private conversations.
Rob Morris, who spoke with Esk for MooreDaily.com, told local TV station KFOR that he felt voters in Oklahoma’s House District 91 needed to know about Esk’s fringe views.
“Even people that don’t agree with things like gay marriage, they, nobody wants the death penalty for gays,” Morris told KFOR. “I mean that’s the most asinine thing.”
Image via Scott Esk for OK House District 91
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.