Appearing on The View this week, former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was asked about his views on gay rights and marriage equality.

His response?

“People who are homosexuals should have every right in terms of their civil rights, to be employed, to do anything they want. But that’s not really the issue. I know you talked about it and I think you got into it a little bit early on. But when we’re talking about a redefinition of an institution, that’s different than individual civil rights. We’re never going to convince each other…But here is the difference. Bull Connor was hosing people down in the streets of Alabama. John Lewis got his skull cracked on the Selma bridge.”

There is so much I could say.  How to even begin?

I would like to see you look Matthew Shepard’s family in the eye and tell them that LGBT people haven’t yet reached the violence threshold. I’d like to see you say that to Larry King’s family.  Tell that to all the families who have suffered the loss of a loved one to violence and hatred.

Gay-bashing happens everywhere.  It happens, it happens everywhere, and it’s often underreported. The FBI estimates that 16.6% of hate crimes in 2007 were motivated by sexual orientation bias.

And yes, it happens here in Boston, too, a very gay-friendly city in an extremely gay-friendly state.  There was a gay-bashing in the South End this August (which was massively underreported).

To even suggest that LGBT people haven’t been through comparable violence is completely untrue. That is one of the most moronic excuses I’ve heard yet.

A few other points for Governor Huckabee:

  1. Using violence as a means to measure who deserves and doesn’t deserve rights is fucking stupid.  Come on.
  2. Is it about redefining the institution of marriage?  Well, we’ve done that already.  When Barack Obama’s parents married in 1961, they wouldn’t have been able to marry in a third of the U.S. states because they were of different races.  The parents of our PRESIDENT were not allowed to marry!  Marriage was redefined throughout the U.S. to allow people of all races to marry, and rightly so.
  3. For all the religious reasons you give — and it’s fine if you’re serious about your religious beliefs within your religious community — there is a separation between church and state in this country, a separation that many don’t mind seeing blurred.

Someone needs to tell the truth.  You can hide behind it in your religion as much as you want.  But I have trouble believing most people who offer religious reasons because they pick and choose which areas of their religion to follow.

(For example, I have never seen or heard of an anti-abortion activist protesting invitro clinics. THOSE are where most of the embryos in this country are!  They are created, and they get thrown away!  Yet do you ever see anyone protesting these clinics, whether in person or through petitions or in government hearings?  Nope.  Never.

I’d like to add that I’m proud to have attended a college where Students For Life spent as much time protesting the death penalty as they did protesting abortion.  I respect their consistency.)

Tell the truth.  The thought of seeing two men kiss freaks you out.  And you can’t say that without looking like an asshole, so quite a few of you say it’s for religious reasons.  Never mind that the same religious book you follow forbids eating cheeseburgers, wearing clothing of mixed fibers, touching women who may be menstruating, and shaving your face. Never mind that the same religious book insists on the stoning of adulterers.  Never mind that it sanctions slavery.

The fact of the matter remains that the gay rights movement is the civil rights movement, just a few decades later.  And same-sex marriage WILL become legal in every state.  It will take us time to get Utah and Oklahoma, but it WILL happen.  It WILL happen.  And a generation from now, people like Mike Huckabee are going to look like George Wallace.

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