Huckabee Downplays Violence Against Gays: Christians Are Having Their Crosses Taken From Them Too

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"Huckabee Downplays Violence Against Gays: Christians Are Having Their Crosses Taken From Them Too"

Last month, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee went on ABC’s “The View” and argued that the gay rights movement hasn’t suffered enough violence to be a real civil rights issue, unlike African-Americans’ struggles.

Yesterday at a book signing, Huckabee stood behind his statement that there was a “difference” between the LGBT movement and African-Americans’ struggles, saying that the latter group was persecuted for “being black, not for their behavior, not for anything other than their race.” While he acknowledged that the LGBT community does suffer some violence, he downplayed it by claiming that gays are also attacking Christians. The two examples that he cited, however, were not violent:

HEYWOOD: Are you saying the LGBT community does not suffer violence?

HUCKABEE: No, I think they do. And so do the Christians. It was in Michigan that people barged into a church and were rather violent —

HEYWOOD: Have you seen the video of that incident?

HUCKABEE: I have.

HEYWOOD: It wasn’t actually particularly violent.

HUCKABEE: Well, it was certainly disruptive. In California, when some peaceful protesters, including a 79-year-old lady by the name of Phyllis, was out holding a cross, it was violently taken from her and stomped. I don’t think there’s justice in that.

HEYWOOD: What about the 50-year-old gay man who was beaten yesterday in Salt Lake City?

HUCKABEE: Nobody justifies any violence on anyone.

Huckabee also said he opposes hate crimes legislation, adopting the common right-wing talking point that government shouldn’t regulate what people think. “[Y]ou should punish and consequence the violence against another person,” said Huckabee. “Why they did it is of less consequence than the fact they did it.” Watch it:


Being gay is not a choice. These people are also victims of discriminatory attacks not for their “behavior,” as Huckabee says, but for who they are biologically.

Federal officials, in fact, are already able to investigate and prosecute attacks “based on race, color, national origin and religion and because the victim was attempting to exercise a federally protected right,” but unable to intervene “in cases where women, gay, transgender or disabled Americans are victims of bias-motivated crimes for who they are.” Additionally, hate crimes legislation goes after criminal action, like physical assaults, not name-calling or verbal abuse. The bill clearly states that “evidence of expression or associations of the defendant may not be introduced as substantive evidence at trial, unless the evidence specifically relates to that offense.”

Transcript:

HUCKABEE: No, I didn’t say they hadn’t experienced enough violence.

HEYWOOD: Could you clarify for us then?

HUCKABEE: Well, I just said that there is a difference between the civil rights movement of African-Americans who were essentially hosed down in the streets by Bull Connor in Birmingham and beaten with their skulls crashed in on the bridges of Selma for being black, not for their behavior, not for anything other than their race. And I said that’s a different situation than asking for marriage to be overturned in California.

HEYWOOD: Are you saying the LGBT community does not suffer violence?

HUCKABEE: No, I think they do. And so do the Christians. It was in Michigan that people barged into a church and were rather violent —

HEYWOOD: Have you seen the video of that incident?

HUCKABEE: I have.

HEYWOOD: It wasn’t actually particularly violent.

HUCKABEE: Well, it was certainly disruptive. In California, when some peaceful protesters, including a 79-year-old lady by the name of Phyllis, was out holding a cross, it was violently taken from her and stomped. I don’t think there’s justice in that.

HEYWOOD: What about the 50-year-old gay man who was beaten yesterday in Salt Lake City?

HUCKABEE: Nobody justifies any violence on anyone.

HEYWOOD: So would you support hate crimes legislation?

HUCKABEE: You know, if you penalize people for their thoughts, the question is — I mean, I’m not for violence against anybody; it doesn’t matter what the purpose is. If you had an 80-year-old woman who’s trying to get in her house with a bag full of groceries, that’s just as wrong as it is to hit somebody for a thought.

And the point is that you should punish and consequence the violence against another person. Why they did it is of less consequence than the fact they did it. So I don’t care if a person is homosexual, or they’re elderly, or they’re a child — if someone is violent toward them, they should be fully consequenced to the fullest extent of the law. But for their violence, not for their thought. When we start having the government determine what we can think, I think we’re moving in kind of a frightening area.

That’s the only problem I have with a lot of the hate crime legislation. You essentially are asking the government to start regulating what people can think. We have a right to regulate what they do. In fact, we have a responsibility to regulate what they do. But to regulate what they think? I don’t think any of us really want that.

Update

Todd Heywood has more from his interview with Huckabee.

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VerbalKint Says: “Many crimes, especially violent crimes, are defined in terms of intent and purpose. The difference between first and second degree murder centers on intent. Likewise for all the other flavors of homicide charges. What was in the mind of the killer before and during the crime are of the utmost importance at distinguishing which of many criminal charges might be applied. Intent also matters when determining how an assault is charged.”

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