Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee addressed his controversial remarks about gay adoption during an interview with Rosie O’Donnell yesterday. Huckabee insisted that his biblical worldview convinced him that a heterosexual environment still represented the “ideal” for children, but said that gay parents also offer loving homes to children. The interview grew contentious at points as O’Donnell pressed Huckabee about his view of “the ideal.”
“You’re saying it’s not the ideal because it’s not straight,” she said:
HUCKABEE: The point that I have tried to make is, I think the ideal is traditional marriage. Man, woman raising children that they’ve created and we don’t always have the ideal [...]
HUCKABEE: I certainly believe adoption ought to be a high priority and as a person who is pro-life, I certainly think we need to make a greater effort to put children with families who are going to nurture them and care for them.
O’DONNELL: And does that preclude gay families in your mind?
HUCKABEE: Well, you know Rosie, again, I think people have to make their own decision about what a family ought to look like and I’m not going to judge you or judge anybody else because I know there are so many loving people who are in same-sex relationships and they have adopted children and they love those kids. I’m not going to judge them. I’m simply not going there. [...]
O’DONNELL: Do you believe if there is a child and there is a gay family that wants the child, the child should just stay in foster care rather than go with a gay family? Is that your preference?
HUCKABEE: No, that’s a choice that each state is going to make according to the laws of that state….I have no doubt that you don’t have love and affection and total devotion to your children.
O’DONNELL: Yes, I feel about them, the same way you feel about yours.
HUCKBAEE: Absolutely, I don’t question that.
O’DONNELL: Maybe Mike, you should just in your mind know that ideal is really code word for heterosexual. It’s not the ideal because it’s not heterosexual.
Listen to highlights:
O’Donnell asked Huckabee how he would respond if one of his kids were gay. “I would love them, I would absolutely love them…there would be no less love because of whether it was there behavior or whether it was who they were.” he said. O’Donnell also urged Huckabee to spend more time with gay parents and their children and advised him to think about how his remarks affect these families — “who are already a minority and are marginalized.”
Huckabee was criticized after he suggested that society shouldn’t recognize gay marriage because it would set a precedent of accepting other behaviors “against the ideal” and likened the children of gay parents to puppies. Huckabee accused the magazine of misrepresenting his statements and they have since published the full interview. In his conversation with O’Donnell, however, Huckabee still insisted that the magazine deliberately edited portions of the conversation.
Last week, an Arkansas Circuit Court struck down a state law that banned unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children. The Court found that Huckabee’s “ideal” view was unconstitutional. “Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza said in a two-page ruling Friday that people in ‘non-marital relationships’ are forced to choose between becoming a parent and sustaining that relationship. ‘Due process and equal protection are not hollow words without substance,’ Piazza said. ‘They are rights enumerated in our constitution that must not be construed in such a way as to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.’”