If I said, “Hey, remember that time you pictured Mike Huckabee and his wife having sex?” You might well reply, “I’ve never pictured that before, thanks a lot. Ouch, my eyes.”
But you should know that Huckabee has thought about you having sex, and it grosses him out.
Asked in a recent New Yorker interview why he opposes gay rights, Huckabee replied. “I do believe that God created male and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the two opposite sexes. Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn’t work the same.”
Ah, yes. The whole “1 penis + 1 vagina = TLF” argument. In other words, marriage is defined by the naughty bits. Huckabee opposes marriage equality on the grounds that, to him, penises touching are “icky.”
I’m sorry, but are we in third grade?
His comment might, on some level, seem innocuous. After all, he said, “We can get into the ick factor,” but he doesn’t. However, “the ick factor” has long been an anti-gay staple. Reducing gays to nothing more than walking, talking sex freaks works wonders when it comes to denying said gays basic civil rights or anything resembling human decency.
Huckabee doesn’t need to go into detail because “the ick factor” is well-established homophobic code for “two guys having butt sex,” often followed by, “with your kids.”
This is, of course, not new territory for Huckabee. When he was governor of Arkansas he was all for laws to ban gays from adopting or becoming foster parents. “Children are not puppies – this is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out how does this work,” he said at the time. “You don’t go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal. That would be like saying, ‘Well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, should we accommodate them?'”
That’s right. To Huckabee being gay is the same thing as being a junkie or diddling your little sister or having a harem. After getting flack for these comments he complained about people criticizing him for his “well known and hardly unusual views.”
Just don’t call him a homophobe. “I’ve had people who worked for me who are homosexuals,” he tells The New Yorker. “And I don’t walk around thinking, Oh, I pity them so much. I accept them as who they are! It’s not like somehow their sin is so much worse than mine.”
Oh, how generous of him. But his “sin parity” claim is bullshit. After all, he’s already made it clear that he defines gay people by their sexuality alone. A sexuality he finds sinful and, not incidentally, “icky.” So yeah, it actually does seem like he thinks that sin “is so much worse than” his.
I think it’s interesting that The New Yorker quotes Brenda Turner, Huckabee’s chief of staff from when he was governor, saying, “My personal feeling is what we don’t understand, we fear. And what we fear, we seek to destroy.”
She’s not talking about homosexuality. She’s talking about how exhausting it was to defend Huckabee from his critics, who lambasted him because he was an outsider, misunderstood and dismissed as a hick. He was beat up by his opponents for not being afraid to be himself.
So when he tells gays and lesbians whose civil right he opposes, “It’s not personal,” it’s awfully hard to swallow.