Mike Huckabee – Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee again spoke out on homosexuality Sunday, stating that being gay is a lifestyle choice similar to drinking alcohol or swearing.
During an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Huckabee said he has gay friends, even if he disagrees with them. “People can be my friends who have lifestyles that are not necessarily my lifestyle. I don’t shut people out of my circle or out of my life because they have a different point of view,” Huckabee said. “I don’t drink alcohol, but gosh, a lot of my friends, maybe most of them, do. You know, I don’t use profanity, but believe me, I’ve got a lot of friends who do. Some people really like classical music and ballet and opera — it’s not my cup of tea.”
Huckabee, who is poised to make a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said that while he hopes the GOP does not change their opposition to same-sex marriage, there is room in the tent for those with differing views. “The very fact that I talk about the relationships I have with friends who are gay indicates I’m not a person who shuts out everybody around me who disagrees,” Huckabee said.
“I’d like to think that there’s room in America for people who have different points of view without screaming and shouting and wanting to shut their businesses down. What worries me in this new environment we’re in, it’s not just that someone might disagree, they don’t want to argue with me, even take a different point of view. They want to close someone’s business down, put them really in an economic position of disenfranchisement. I find that very, very disturbing,” he said.
Huckabee’s remarks come as he continues to position himself as 2016’s culture warrior. Huckabee has encouraged resistance to court rulings in favor of marriage equality. In his new book, Gods, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, Huckabee writes, “Should there come a day in which the people of America vote to establish new versions of marriage — with their direct vote or through their elected representatives — those who oppose this change will face a choice: to either accept it, ignore it, or rebel against it. If a single judge can rebel against the people’s law, has he not encouraged others to do the same?”
During his interview Sunday, Huckabee said same-sex marriage is not a political issue but a biblical issue. “It’s like asking someone who’s Jewish to start serving bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli. We don’t want to do that — I mean, we’re not going to do that. Or like asking a Muslim to serve up something that is offensive to him, or to have dogs in his backyard,” he said. “We’re so sensitive to make sure we don’t offend certain religions, but then we act like Christians can’t have the convictions that they’ve had for over 2,000 years.”
Huckabee ran for president in 2008 and won the Iowa caucuses. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, another potential Republican candidate for president, came under fire last June after he compared homosexuality to a “lifestyle” such as alcoholism.