Okino responds, apologizes after ethics board nomination withdrawn

Gary Okino apologized Saturday for anti-gay statements that he made during a hearing on his nomination to the city's Ethics Board of Appeals.

The statements led to Mayor Kirk Caldwell withdrawing the nomination.

"The Mayor's action to withdraw my nomination was appropriate," said Okino, in a written statement. "In my overzealousness to respond to the allegations made against me by the testifiers at the committee meeting, I now realize that I may have unintentionally hurt the very people that I was trying to help."

Okino is a former city councilman. In his testimony last Tuesday, he compared gays to murderers and drug users.

"To my gay brothers and sisters and their supporters, I deeply apologize if my words were hurtful rather than helpful. That was not my intent," Okino said. "In my eagerness to express what we believe is right and what is wrong, I had forgotten that we truly do belong to a loving God, and that He also asks us to treat people with the love, reverence and dignity that they deserve."

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