DES MOINES, IOWA — In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court brought same-sex marriage to the Hawkeye State, allowing thousands of LGBT couples to tie the knot. The weddings boosted the state economy — Iowa has added around $850,000 to $930,000 in tax revenue since legalization — and helped expand marriage equality to some 37 states.
At the Iowa Agriculture Summit on Saturday, ThinkProgress asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), a vocal opponent of marriage equality, how Iowa’s same-sex weddings have negatively impacted the state. But rather than providing any specific examples, Huckabee dodged the question and fell back on old rhetoric.
“Iowans voted differently than the judges ruled, so you’ve got a conflict between the people and the judges,” he told ThinkProgress. “Ultimately, most states have made clear their position on it. The battle hasn’t been with the people. The battle has been with a handful of people in black robes.”
According to a 2014 poll, support for same sex marriage reached an all-time high last year with nearly eight in ten young adults in favor of legalizing gay marriage and 55 percent of the general population in support.
Huckabee, a former Fox News host and presumptive presidential candidate, has a long history of opposing LGBT equality. Last month, he deflected a question about whether being gay is a choice but proceeded to compare that “lifestyle” to drinking alcohol, using profanity, and enjoying classical music or ballet. In that interview, Huckabee offered some bizarre comparisons for when Christians are asked to accept marriage equality. “It’s like asking someone who’s Jewish to start serving bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli,” he said.