Mike Huckabee’s Bait and Switch: Launches in Hope, Ark., but Campaigns on Hate

by HRC Staff

WASHINGTON – Ahead of his expected campaign launch today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, highlighted presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s long record of using hateful rhetoric to oppose LGBT equality.

“There’s nothing hopeful about opposing marriage equality, and no matter what city Mike Huckabee launches his campaign in, he can’t erase his long history of hateful rhetoric, like comparing being LGBT to alcohol abuse,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “If Mike Huckabee bases another campaign on his opposition to marriage equality, he is going to find out that his hateful rhetoric has left him isolated in a country where more than 6 in 10 voters support marriage equality and nearly half the country knows an LGBT couple that has gotten married or is in a committed relationship.”

Highlights on Mike Huckabee’s Anti-LGBT Record:

Overview: Mike Huckabee has been a staunch opponent of LGBT equality, dating back to when he first burst onto the public scene in the 1990s and declared that “we should isolate the carriers” of HIV and that AIDS research received “an unfair share of federal dollars.” Huckabee has since tried to walk those comments back, but he’s maintained opposition to LGBT equality on every issue that has come before him. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On Marriage Equality: Huckabee opposes marriage equality and has suggested judges who rule in favor of it should be impeached. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On LGBT Discrimination: Huckabee has argued against local ordinances that would protect LGBT Americans from discrimination.  And he defended Indiana’s right to discriminate legislation. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On Conversion Therapy: Huckabee has supported dangerous “conversion therapy” that coerces minors into ‘treatment’ that can lead to depression and suicide. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Harmful Rhetoric: Huckabee compares being LGBT to alcohol use. In opposing Huckabee marriage equality, Huckabee said in 2010, “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.” [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Adoption: Huckabee opposed allowing gay and transgender Americans to adopt children, because “children aren’t puppies.” [Citations/Full Research Brief]

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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