Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been the most vocal supporter of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriages licenses. He has said he would go to jail on her behalf and has used her situation to argue for strengthening “religious liberty.” But during Wednesday night’s GOP debate, he proved he doesn’t actually understand the meaning of religious freedom.
In response to a question about Davis during the debate, Huckabee argued that she should be allowed to exercise her religious beliefs and discriminate against same-sex couples because the United States has allowed others, including prisoners, to exercise their own religious beliefs.
“We made accommodation to the Fort Hood shooter to let him grow a beard,” Huckabee said. “We made accommodations to the detainees at Gitmo — I’ve been to Gitmo and I’ve seen the accommodations that we have to the Muslim detainees who killed Americans. You’re telling me that you cannot make an accommodation for an elected Democrat county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky?”
He continue, alleging the only difference is the “criminalization of her faith.”
The First Amendment guarantees Americans the freedom to practice their religions, but does not guarantee someone the right to discriminate and deny other people their rights because of his or her religion.
Davis was released from jail last week and returned to work — she has said she will not interfere with her deputies as they issue same-sex marriage licences.
Huckabee made a similar false comparison in an op-ed he published in Fox News in which he argued that Davis should be allowed out on bail because “many of the America’s most evil and notorious serial killers, murderers, rapists, mafia bosses and presidential assassins were actually let out on bail.” He went on to list Al Capone, Ted Bundy, and Jack Kevorkian, among others, without acknowledging that none of them were held in contempt of court like Davis.