Former Arkansas governor and current Fox News personality Mike Huckabee has a habit of trying to substantiate and explain away his off-the-cuff homophobic remarks with clarification statements that blame the offended parties for misunderstanding his biblically-inspired Evangelical Christian beliefs. After he likened gay marriage to incest and drug use, Huckabee issued a statement insisting that the activist gay journalist took his remarks out of context and appeared on Rosie O’Donnell’s radio show to explain that he really “respects” gay people, but disagrees about what’s ‘ideal’ for the children.
He’s using the same tact to calm the fires surrounding his New Yorker profile, in which he calls gay relationships ‘ick[y]‘ and jokes that he would support gay marriage if he were forced into an affair with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This time, Huckabee defends himself by claiming that ‘ick actor’ was actually coined by a gay academic:
My use of the phrase ‘ick factor’ was as the established notion from within the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender (GLBT) community. It was not an indication of personal aversion, but rather a reference to an established phrase used mostly from same-sex marriage advocates and militants – not one I created.
Former colleague of then Professor Obama from the University of Chicago’s Law School, Dr. Martha Nussbaum, has often made reference to the ‘ick factor’ in her professional writings and is credited with applying the phrase to the GLBT community.
This phrase is not new. This phrase is not mine.
More over, the phrase ‘ick factor’ was widely used as early as the late 1990′s and was just the subject of an entire article written on April 12 of this year – by Joseph Erbentraut – and he even put ‘Ick Factor’ in the title.
I stand by my statement, and the misrepresentations of those who seek to dishonestly distort my views expose their duplicity and hypocrisy.
This is a rather bizarre defense, since Nussbaum uses the ‘ick factor’ to argue that opponents of gay political initiatives are driven by their “aversion to man-on-man anal sex” (that’s the ick), not any sophisticated legal or biblical theories of behavior. As Joseph Erbentraut explains in that April 12th article, “according to Nussbaum’s theory, those opposed to same-sex marriage, for example, maintain their beliefs largely due to an underlying, subconscious feeling of disgust at the thought of what defines “gay” as, well, gay – as well as lesbian as lesbian: What is done in the bedroom.”
So is Huckabee conceding the point? Because it certainly sounds like he’s saying — as TP intern Ryan McNeely said to me today — “an academic coined this term to describe bigots like me who can’t come up with any substantive arguments against LGBT rights, and that’s what I meant.’