Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says the marriages of gay and lesbian couples don't meet the definition of marriage.

In a recent Google hangout with conservative activists, Huckabee was asked what he would do as president to prevent “the same-sex mirage” from victimizing Christians.

“The agenda here is not simply to have the freedom for same-sex relationships called marriage,” Huckabee answered. “I refuse to say that that's marriage because marriage does have a definition and that's not it.”

“The assault is on something deeper than just the institution of marriage.”

Huckabee went on to predict that marriage equality would lead to the shuttering of Christian-led institutions.

“If [a hospital refuses] to allow benefits to a same-sex couple because it violates their convictions, they'll lose their hospital accreditation. The hospital goes out of business. The same thing happens to Christian universities,” he added.

(Related: Mike Huckabee offers “prayers and support” to Kim Davis, clerk blocking gay marriages.)