Since Prop. 8’s passage in California, which revoked same-sex couples’ right to marry, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has been a powerful outspoken advocate of the rights of gay citizens. “The amendment does not just prohibit gay rights. It takes away rights previously enjoyed,” she said. She has also called the vote a “rebuke to the incumbent rights of gay couples.” Watch a mashup:
However, last night, Maddow was notably silent on the issue of gay rights when interviewing former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. On Tuesday, Huckabee had insisted that gay rights and civil rights were totally different because gay rights activists’ “skulls” weren’t getting “cracked.” On Wednesday morning, Huckabee claimed that Prop. 8 “did not prohibit” gay marriage; it “simply affirmed that which already has and forever has existed,” he said.
During the seven-minute interview last night, however, Maddow never forced Huckabee to defend these claims. Instead, Maddow repeatedly asked him about his future presidential plans and speculated about the influence of the Christian Right in the GOP. Watch it:
Huckabee has equated homosexuality with bestiality and necrophilia, said that people have the “choice” to act gay, and actively pushed to criminalize sodomy, ban gay couples from adopting, and exclude gay partners from spousal survival benefits. Huckabee’s views on gay rights are extreme, and deserve to be questioned.
When contacted by ThinkProgress, Rachel Maddow explained her reasons for avoiding the subject of gay rights with Huckabee:
I weighed whether or not to ask him about his anti-gay views, but I really don’t care about them very much. Huckabee is a doctrinaire anti-gay theocratic social conservative whose views are well-known and heartfelt. I also probably wouldn’t bother asking Sarah Palin about her anti-gay views if I had the opportunity to interview her — it’s just not the most interesting or newsworthy (or ridiculous) thing about either of them.