Mike Huckabee has explained his use of
the phrase “ick factor” in describing gay marriage. His
explanation, however, is probably close to what most people were
The former Arkansas governor, Fox
News commentator and 2012 presidential hopeful drew heated
criticism from gay groups last week for
remarks he gave to The New Yorker.
In the piece, Huckabee first says he
accepts gay people – “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” – but then adds
that God created marriage for straight people.
“I do believe that God created male
and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the
two opposite sexes,” he told the magazine. “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.”
But in a statement to POLITICO.com
Wednesday, the Baptist minister took umbrage with Internet reports
quoting him saying he thought gay marriage was “icky.”
“Let me set the record straight,”
Huckabee wrote. “Never once did I say 'icky', as many blogs and
less than credible news organizations have reported.”
Huckabee went on to explain that “the
ick factor” is an “established notion” from within the gay
“It was not an indication of personal
aversion, but rather a reference to an established phrase used mostly
from same-sex marriage advocates and militants – not one I
Whether Huckabee was recycling phrasing
or not, the phrase is used by advocates of gay marriage to illustrate
an aversion to gay sex by opponents of gay marriage.
Huckabee goes so far as to credit Dr.
Martha Nussbaum for the phrase, making certain to include a tenuous
link to President Barack Obama who once also taught at the University
of Chicago's School of Law.
Nussbaum has used the phrase to
describe the “aversion to man-on-man anal sex” by opponents of
gay marriage, the progressive blog ThinkProgress.org
“So is Huckabee conceding the point –
that his opposition to gay marriage is driven by 'personal
aversion'?” the blog asks.
“I stand by my statement,” Huckabee
added in his note, “and the misrepresentations of those who seek to
dishonestly distort my views expose their duplicity and hypocrisy.”