On CNN’s Larry King Live last night, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said that he would “absolutely” allow a gay man or woman to serve in his administration. “I have people who are homosexual that work for me in the governor’s office,” noted Huckabee:
KING: Could a gay be in your administration?
People are competent because — not with anything to do with their sexual orientation. I have people who are homosexual that work for me in the governor’s office. And it was not a qualification. I think you should never (INAUDIBLE)…
In the interview, Huckabee also indicated that he would not change the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Watch it:
Huckabee’s openess towards LGBT employees may indicate that he is personally tolerant towards gay men and women. But, as his reticence to change Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell shows, he is still in favor of using the power of government to discriminate against gay Americans.
Huckabee is against gay marriage, arguing that “civilization” may not survive if “what marriage and family means” is “rewritten.” As Governor of Arkansas, he “avidly” supported the state amendment banning gay marriage. That wasn’t the only anti-gay public policy Huckabee pushed in Arkansas:
— In 1997, Huckabee requested an amendment to a state Senate bill stating “that it is Arkansas public policy to prohibit sodomy to protect the traditional family structure.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/23/1997]
— In 1998, Huckabee supported banning gay men and women from acting as foster parents because “it is not in the best interest of children.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/29/1998]
— In 2003, Huckabee said “If you ask for survivor benefits to be paid to a same-sex survivor, I think we have a right to say no to that.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/3/2003]
Additionally, in the past, Huckabee has spoken of homosexuality using some of the most divisive and hyperbolic rhetoric possible:
— In a 1992 questionnaire for the Associated Press, Huckabee claimed that “homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.”
— In his 1998 book, Kids Who Kill, Huckabee compared homosexuality to necrophilia, decrying “publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations–from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia.”
While Huckabee now wants to claim that he has no personal animus against gay Americans, his record suggests he has no problem using the powers of government to discriminate against them.