Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee says expecting Christians to accept same-sex marriage is “like asking someone who’s Jewish to start serving bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli.”
He also called homosexuality part of a lifestyle, like drinking and swearing.
The former Arkansas governor, winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses and likely 2016 contender’s comments came during an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” as he defended an excerpt from his new book in which he says he has friends and associates who are gay.
“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 told CNN’s Dana Bash, while deflecting a question about whether he believes being gay is a choice.
“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 said.
He also offered a nod to legislation that some conservatives have advocated on the national and state levels protecting businesses from discrimination claims for adhering to their owners’ religious views.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Huckabee pointed to President Barack Obama’s 2008 opposition to same-sex marriage, but said there’s no chance he’ll ever drop his opposition to gay marriage.
“This is not just a political issue. It is a biblical issue. And as a biblical issue — unless I get a new version of the scriptures, it’s really not my place to say, OK, I’m just going to evolve,” Huckabee said.
“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 2,000 years.”
SOURCE: Eric Bradner
WATCH: Mike Huckabee says People of Faith Shouldn’t be Forced to Accept Homosexual Marriage
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Sunday said being gay is akin to choosing to drink alcohol or use profanity – lifestyle choices he says are appealing to others but not to him.
The former Baptist pastor, who is weighing a second run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, also claimed that forcing people of faith to accept gay marriage as policy is on par with telling Jews that they must serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli.” That dish would run afoul of kosher rules in the same way Huckabee sees asking Christians to accept same-sex marriages.
“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 have had for over 2,000 years,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee has made cultural issues the cornerstone of his likely White House bid. The former Baptist pastor is counting on social conservatives and evangelicals who have great clout in early nominating Iowa to help him.
His comments about gays and lesbians seem targeted at the conservative corners of his party.
Yet he also included a pitch for inclusion in his remarks.
Huckabee said he appreciates different viewpoints on gay marriage, adding that he has gay friends.
“I accept a lot of people as friends maybe whose lifestyle I don’t necessarily adhere to, agree with or practice. Doesn’t mean that I can’t have a good relationship with anyone or lead them or govern them,” Huckabee said.
But he remained steadfastly opposed to rights for gays and lesbians, although research has found a biological basis for their attraction to others of the same sex.
“I don’t chuck people out of my circle or out of my life because they have a different point of view. 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 have got a lot of friends who do,” Huckabee said.
“Some people really like classical music and ballet and opera. It’s not my cup of tea. I would like to think that there’s room in America for people who have different points of views without screaming, shouting and wanting to shut their businesses down.”
Such rhetoric is central to Huckabee’s efforts to engage social conservatives.
In recent weeks, Huckabee has picked fights with the White House over President Barack Obama’s friendship with Beyonce Knowles. Huckabee says the Obama daughters should not treat the entertainer as a role model because she is overly sexual.
In his latest book, Huckabee also says Beyonce’s husband, rapper Jay-Z, is more of a “pimp” than a spouse.
Huckabee spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
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SOURCE: PHILIP ELLIOTT