Former Arkansas governor and current GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is calling on opponents of marriage equality to engage in acts of civil disobedience, saying that conservative Christians don’t “have a choice” but to directly challenge the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
While appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning, Huckabee was asked expand on his vocal opposition to the recent Supreme Court decision in support of same-sex marriage, which he called an example of “judicial tyranny.” After Huckabee chastised the court for supposedly overruling the legislature, Stephanopoulos interrupted him, asking him to clarify how he thinks opponents of LGBT rights should respond.
Stephanopoulos: Are you calling for civil disobedience?
Huckabee: I don’t think a lot of pastors and Christian schools are going to have a choice. They’re either going to follow God, what they truly believe, or they will follow civil law. They’ll go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his brilliant essay, the Letters from a Birmingham Jail (sic), reminded us — based on what St. Augustine said — that an unjust law is no law at all. I do think we’re going to see a lot of pastors who will have to make this tough decision. You’re going to see it on the part of Christian business owners, you’ll see it on the part of Christian university presidents, Christian school administrators…
Stephanopoulos: What about county clerks? Should they issue same-sex marriage licenses?
Huckabee: If they have an conscientious objection I think they should be excused. I’m not sure that every governor and every attorney general should just say “Well, it’s the law of the land because there is no enabling legislation.”
Check out video of the exchange below.
Huckabee isn’t the only one calling for grassroots opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling. For months, several far-right conservative pastors — including Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd — have been referring to America’s slow embrace of marriage equality as a “Bonhoeffer moment” for opponents of LGBT rights, invoking the name of famous German Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was killed for participating in an assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler. And just last week, Texas pastor Rick Scarborough told a radio interviewer that he was willing to burn himself to death if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, although he backtracked from that promise after Friday’s decision was announced.
But while Huckabee and others use the catch-all term “Christian” to refer to opponents of same-sex marriage, polls show that American Christianity is increasingly progressive on the issue of LGBT rights. A recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute reported that — with the exception of white evangelical Protestants and some black Protestants — majorities of every major Christian group in the United States support marriage equality. In addition, although Huckabee lists Christian businesses as a group likely to resist equality for LGBT people, majorities of every major American religious group — including white evangelical Protestants and non-white Protestants — now back laws to protect LGBT individuals against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing.