Despite a large outcry, Mike Huckabee
is not apologizing for saying he disagrees with gay and lesbian
couples raising children because they “are not puppies.”
Huckabee made his remarks last week in
a wide-ranging interview with The
Perspective, a publication of the College of New Jersey. He
also reiterated his opposition to being gay, drawing parallels to
drug use, incest and polygamy.
“You don't go ahead and accommodate
every behavior pattern that is against the ideal,” he said. “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 use drugs. There
are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them.
There are people who believe in polygamy, so we should accommodate
But the Fox News commentator and
possible 2012 presidential nominee drew the most criticism for his
remarks about gay adoption.
On that issue, Huckabee told the paper
that he sided with an Arkansas law that outlaws unmarried couples
from adopting children in a state that bans gay marriage, effectively
banning adoption by gay couples. (Calling
the law unconstitutional, a judge struck it down last week.)
“We should act in the best interest
of the children, not in the seeming interest of the adults,” he
said, then added, “Children are not puppies. This is not a time to
see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?”
During an interview Wednesday with
Rosie O'Donnell, Huckabee reeled back his remarks a bit, but refused
“The point that I have tried to make
is, I think the ideal is traditional marriage,” he said. “Man,
woman raising children that they're created and we don't always have
O'Donnell, who is openly gay and
raising four children, persisted: “And does that preclude gay
families in your mind?”
“Well, you know Rosie, again, I think
people have to make their own decision about what a family ought to
look like and I'm not going to judge you or judge anybody else
because I know there are so many loving people who are in same-sex
relationships and they have adopted children and they love those
kids. I'm not going to judge them.”
But when Rosie asked whether his
preference would be that a child remain in foster care rather than
being placed with a gay family, the 54-year-old former Baptist
minister sidestepped the question.
“No, that's a choice that each state
is going to make according to the laws of that state,” he said,
then added: “I have no doubt that you don't have love and affection
and total devotion to your children.”
Huckabee's comments drew widespread
criticism and calls for an apology.
“You owe the millions of gay and
lesbian families in this country an apology,” openly gay
presidential hopeful Fred Karger wrote in an Huffington
Post blog entry.
But this is not the first time Huckabee
has attacked gay couples.
Last November, Huckabee told Katie
Couric that if you alter marriage to include gay couples “then
there is really no limit” to how it might be defined and suggested
polygamy would soon follow.
Huckabee is the presidential choice of
social conservatives who attended last year's Value Voters Summit,
the annual conservative meet up sponsored by the Family Research
Council (FRC), an ardent opponent of gay and lesbian rights.