Would Mike Huckabee's "gay friends" please stand up?

Huck says he's no hater. His record suggests otherwise

Published February 2, 2015 3:26PM (EST)

  (AP/Alex Brandon)
(AP/Alex Brandon)

Good news, fellow sodomites! Mike Huckabee may believe we're a little bit "icky" and think that giving us equal rights is akin to forcing a Jewish deli to prepare "bacon-wrapped shrimp," but he says we can totally be his friends!

The former Arkansas governor and 2016 presidential aspirant brought us these good tidings yesterday, on CNN, which may explain why you haven't yet heard the news. Huckabee, you see, has a new book out, entitled "God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy." (Yes, that's the title.) In the book, the Southern Baptist preacher mentions that although he's an inveterate opponent of marriage equality, he still has gay friends. CNN's Dana Bash politely asked Huckabee how he could "square" having friends whose rights he opposes.

"People can be my friends who have lifestyles that are not necessarily my lifestyle. I don't shut people out of my circle or out of my life because they have a different point of view," Huckabee told Bash, lumping homosexuality in with other such "lifestyles" as drinking and cursing.

"I don’t shut people out of my circle or out of my life because they have a different point of view," Huckabee -- point of view: hetero -- said. "I don’t drink alcohol, but gosh, a lot of my friends — maybe most of them — do. I don’t use profanity, but believe me I’ve got a lot of friends who do. Some people really like classical music and ballet and opera. It’s not my cup of tea."

Gays don't seem to be Huckabee's cup of tea, either. Seven years after federal health officials affirmed that AIDS couldn't be spread via casual contact, Huckabee called for the quarantining of AIDS patients during his unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in 1992, and he stood by that call during his first presidential bid seven years ago. In 2012, the former governor spearheaded Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day; it wasn't fried chicken Huckabee was appreciating, but the company president's anti-gay bigotry. Last year, he delivered the keynote address at the inaugural convention of Trail Life USA, an organization founded as a straights-only alternative to the Boy Scouts. Indeed, if there's ever an anti-gay confab in town, it's a pretty safe bet that Huckabee will file an appearance.

Huckabee's commitment to heterosexism is so unwavering, in fact, that he's threatened to quit the GOP if it ever budges from its official position that gays are second-class citizens. But as he gears up for a second presidential campaign, Huckabee now wants fellow Republicans to know that he's a gay-friend-having, dissent-welcoming, big-tent kind of guy.

"I hope the party doesn’t change its overall view," Huckabee told Bash. "But the very fact that I talk about relationships I have with friends who are gay, indicate that I’m not a person who shuts everybody out around me who disagrees."

Count me as skeptical that the Huckster's social circle includes any gay people. If it does, they're probably the same phantom ones whom Elizabeth Santorum claimed supported her father because of his views on "family" issues.

At any rate, I'd honestly love to meet Huckabee's gay pals. But until they step forward, I'm convinced that anyone who would let this photo happen isn't fraternizing with many of my sinful ilk.

By Luke Brinker

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