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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mike Huckabee: Gay Marriage Not a Civil Rights Issue.

Former presidential candidate and extremist Christian Mike Huckabee claimed on the American t.v. show, "The View" that gay marriage is not a civil rights issue. Yet surely he wouldn't say keeping blacks from marrying whites wasn't a civil rights issue?

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was on The View Tuesday talking about same-sex marriage and declaring that gay rights are not civil rights because gays have not had violence inflicted upon them like Blacks have.

HuckabeeSaid: "People who are homosexuals should have every right in terms of their civil rights, to be employed, to do anything they want. But that's not really the issue. I know you talked about it and I think you got into it a little bit early on. But when we're talking about a redefinition of an institution, that's different than individual civil rights. We're never going to convince each other...But here is the difference. Bull Connor was hosing people down in the streets of Alabama. John Lewis got his skull cracked on the Selma bridge."

James: So in other words gays need to be beaten and killed more often before we will grant them the right to marry??? As for marriage between a man and a women being an institution I'd remind him that segregation was an institution too and yet we ended that "separate but equal" discrimination. Civil unions are "separate but equal" too. And gays haven't faced violence? Clearly he doesn't remember Matthew Shepard who was a gay American university student who lived in the American state of Wyoming and was beaten to death by two homophobes. I live only about an hour away in northern Colorado from where he was killed. They tortured him and crushed his skull with the butt of a gun before tying him to a fence post out in the country side to die. The beating was so severe that the only areas on Shepard's face that were not covered in blood were those where his tears had washed the blood stains away. All because he was gay. Is that not violent enough for you Mike?

And what about the Holocaust, which saw at least 15,000 homosexuals slaughtered along with millions of Jews. Was that not enough violence for you Mike? Or maybe the assassination of gay San Fransisco city supervisor Harvey Milk wasn't violent enough? And what about, The death of Julio Rivera in New York City on July 2, 1990 by two men who beat him with a hammer and stabbed him with a knife because he was gay. Then there was the case of the rape and later murder of Brandon Teena, a transsexual man (1972 – 1993). The events leading to Mr. Teena's death were depicted in the movie Boys Don't Cry. Click here to read more cases of violence against homosexuals. Homosexuals have been around since man first walked the Earth and have faced horrific violence, intimidation and discrimination for eons so it is highly ignorant to say that gays haven't faced similar violence as African-Americans have here in America.

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EZG said...

Good game, Huckabee. What an awful person you are.

I really don't understand why people feel threatened by gay marriage. It's so silly.

Douglas Dobbins said...

Hello James. I hope you don't mind if I offer a Christian perspective (once again). But I know how difficult of an issue homosexuality is, and I do not want to avoid nor downplay the importance of dialogue on this issue, especially when we are dialoguing out of our deep seated world views.

I believe, at least for now, the Christian community should foster a spirit of grace when dealing with gay men and women. This is especially true because, so often, we have critiqued the lifestyle without critiquing our common plight, namely sin. And, although sin is not a part of Buddhist teachings, I don't think we can avoid the reality that sin exists. The problem is that we often disagree over what sin actually is. For instance, it appears that you take Mike Huckabee's statements to be unjust. Even if you don't believe that they were unjust, then I ask that you would be willing to tolerate those who have conceptions of actual injustice - actual sin.

If I am honest with myself I have to admit that my own sexuality has been distorted and marred by sin. My thought life has not always been pure, and, I must confess that, on a number of occasions, I have intentionally nurtured impurity in my heart. The truth is, before the eyes of my holy God, I have sinned. That is reality. I need to be forgiven by one "who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Also, I need to live a new life by the power of the Spirit, not yielding myself to sin but presenting my heart as a sacrifice to God. I must not be afraid to make Christ the divine witness of my thoughts, even if I realize that those thoughts represent my own failures and, moreover, my desires to hide my failures.

Therefore, I believe, until we as Christians acknowledge that we have been marred by sin, that we will be unable to experience Christ's saving power in our own lives nor able to share that power with the whole world. And yes, as a Christian, I believe that Homosexuality is a marring of the pattern of glory. I believe that, within all homosexual relationships, there is much genuine good. But certainly I have to admit that the love held by homosexual couples, although being categorized by genuine affection, nevertheless has a marred expression. It is not the love which homosexuals have for one another which is the problem, it is the expression of that love.

But lastly, you mentioned homophobia, which I believe is most often driven by ungodliness. Because sin has penetrated so deep into our souls, it has marred the way in which non-homosexual same sex relationships function. St. Paul exhorts us to kiss each other with a holy kiss; yet I feel greatly uncomfortable with that, perhaps because I have allowed societie's ungodly homophobia to affect my relationships with other males. Even deeper, I have sin in my heart which prohibits me from loving males in a truly Godly and caring manner. Perhaps my same sex relationships are just as distorted as I believe homosexual relationships are.

But in all our relationships, I hope we are acknowledging injustice to be injustice, our errors to be errors. I pray that we can be honest and live in the light, being real about our shortcoming, receiving forgiveness and the grace to change.

Thanks again for the post. - Doug

They call him James Ure said...


He scares me and I hope he doesn't run in 2012. I agree that gay marriage is about as threatening as a Yorkshire terrier.


I'm glad that we can agree that homophobia is dangerous and not the least of which because it can lead to physical violence.

Mumon said...

Douglas Dobbins:

Somewhere it seems there was a short circuit in your brain, if you'll pardon my abrupt method of expression.

The subject was about whether people with same-sex attraction should enjoy the same legal recognition as heterosexuals.

The issue of "sin" - as you admit a purely religious issue - is nihil ad rem. Nothing to do with the point.


Tom said...

I certainly think that Gay Rights and civil rights are parallel, and that arguments for addressing each are very, very similar.

In American, have blacks suffered more than women who have suffered more than gays? Probably, but Huckabee's point is spectacularly off-point, it seems to me. Who has suffered most doesn't address the real point, which James points to, that there is a fundamental unfairness in not making marriage universally available to all competent adults.

Frankly, I am VERY open to the idea of there only being civil unions recognized by the government for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. And that "marriage" be left as a ceremonial function done privately outside government oversight. I worry, too, that an expansion of marriage, with all the tax and other benefits, accrues to the detrement of single people. Seems to me there are a lot of issues that must be worked out, but CAN be worked out, making ours a more-just society.

Wendy said...

I was pregnant when Matthew Shepard was killed and I sobbed for days. Your description of his murder just started me again.

Carla said...

Tom, I agree with your notion that only civil unions should be recognized by the government, leaving all notions of covenants, sacraments and 'marriage' outside the realm of government oversight. I also agree that married people should not enjoy rights and privileges above single people. Nor should couples with children enjoy benefits to the detrement of childless people.

I also agree with EZG that the concept of sin has no place in a discussion of equal rights under the law for gay people. Anyone, including Christians, should be able to have a rational discussion of civil matters without all these notions of grace, salvation and sin coming into it. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other, and someone's perception of another person's relationship as being 'marred' MUST NOT have any bearing on that person's right to equal treatment under the law. For example, I might think it's 'marred' for you to expect your wife to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and to be led by you as Christ leads the church. Does that mean you shouldn't be legally allowed to hold those views? See what I'm saying? Everyone must allowed to live freely, and enjoy the same rights and responsibilities under the law.

Mike Huckabee's argument is specious. No one should have to suffer for their basic human rights. What a stupid notion.

Great post, James.

They call him James Ure said...


You are right that there are some kinks still to work out but I also agree that they CAN be worked out.


I'm sorry to make you cry!!! It is a story though that has to be retold to remind everyone of how far we still have to go.


Thanks!! I really try hard to reframe issues in a manner that many might not have seen it through before. I agree with you and Tom that we need to make marriage rights equal toward single people as well.

Dhamma81 said...

Mike Huckabee is an evangelical Christian and to him and many others with his brand of belief, gay marriage is evil in the eyes of God. That being said, I think the political power of evangelical Christians is on the wane and don't believe that Mike Huckabee has any chance whatsoever of being the President.

I'm deeply conservative and far right on many issues but despite that I don't see why gays are so maligned and mistreated by people. That Matt Shepard incident was awful to say the least.

If we have a supposed separation of church and state then why is gay marriage even an issue at all since marriage takes place as a religious ceremony? The state, being non religious should have the obligation to recognize same sex marriage the same way they recognize heterosexual marriage.

Also, Huckabee has too many ties to people and ideas the liberal media wouldn't go near like Neal Boortz and the Fair Tax issue so his chances in getting elected seem almost zero.

They call him James Ure said...


The state, being non religious should have the obligation to recognize same sex marriage the same way they recognize heterosexual marriage.


robin said...

I do not know Mike Huckabee personally. He seems like an authentically nice guy who tries to build bridges. I do not agree with him on every issue, but open lines of communication are always good. There is no authentic compassion without the authentic kindness that makes courageous heart to heart dialog possible. If those of us who have more libertine social views want tolerance; we must be tolerant. We can not just demand things.

robin said...

EZG said, "I really don't understand why people feel threatened by gay marriage. It's so silly."

I do understand it. It is a kind of fear and discomfort that I personally had to overcome through experience. It is actually an irrational fear, but that is true of "bhaya" or unwholesome fear, suspicion,and distrust in general.

About thirty years ago I met two gay men who effectively had a civil union. At least one of them had custody of children from a previous straight marriage. They did just as good job of running a household and raising children as the straight couples I knew, better than most.

BTW, Buddhism does teach that hiri-otappa -- heart felt shame and fear of morally unwholesome causes -- is a healthy fear. For example, we should fear our own hatred, anger. phobias, and intolerance.

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