Mike Huckabee Takes “Gay Ick Factor” Campaign on the Road

Continuing a long tradition of Getting it Wrong About Gay People, Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and possible 2012 presidential candidate, is on a campaign to tell the world exactly what he thinks of all the gay sex everyone is having, which can be summed up by the phrase “ick-factor.” Along with brilliant political insights such as “children are not puppies” and the more recent “Marriage is not whatever we want it to be. Marriage is a man and a woman committed in a relationship for life,” Huckabee has argued that Obama’s approach to the Defense of Marriage Act is just “wrong” for many ungrounded reasons which he would be happy to share with you at length.

Perpetuating ridiculous claims about gay marriage that usually have nothing to do with gay marriage is a long-used tactic by organizations such as the Family Research Council, which most recently declared that gay people are “far more likely” to be promiscuous pedophiles in order to argue in support of the Defense of Marriage Act.

This sort of propaganda, which has landed the FRC and similar organizations on things like the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s list of hate groups, is more ridiculous than the claims that Huckabee is making, but not by much. Just like those groups, Huckabee is drawing on unrelated and often dubious scientific and (in his case) economic evidence to make a point which would be better stated if he just acknowledged that the reason he doesn’t want gay people to get married is because he finds it gross. Oh wait, he did that in a New Yorker profile last summer:

“I asked him to explain his rationale for opposing gay rights. ‘I do believe that God created male and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the two opposite sexes,’ he said. ‘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.’”

And now, Huckabee is applying his very flawed logic to the Defense of Marriage Act discussion. In an interview with Fox Business on Friday, Huckabee called Obama “legally wrong, but I think more importantly, he was politically wrong, and he was morally wrong — he was wrong on every front” for not defending DOMA. Because DOMA makes families, and families are important to government.

All families? Of course not! Only the families that Mike Huckabee approves.

The first time interviewer Judge Napolitano asks whether marriage should be the government’s business, Huckabee goes on a bit of a rant about the economy, specifically the tiny part of it that goes towards “pick[ing] up the pieces left by fathers who don’t do their duty,” instead of answering the question.

Napolitano: None of that has anything to do with allowing the same-sex couple down the block to live together and to be married. Question: Do conservatives care about the couple down the block?
Huckabee: Yes they do.
Napolitano: Why? Why do they want to get in their bedroom?
Huckabee: No no no, they don’t want to get in their bedroom, they definitely don’t want to get in their bedroom. They don’t want to see what going on in that bedroom. But I’ll tell you what they want to do, they want to make sure that we have an institution called marriage that really does mean historically that children have a mother and a father because they need the benefit.

Huckabee really can’t emphasize enough how grossed out he is by the idea that gay people might have sex. Napolitano is fairly skeptical at his reaction, but doesn’t directly challenge him on it, or really on anything else he says. As Alvin McEwen recently posted on Pam’s House Blend,

“The media won’t challenge these lies. And in all fairness and honesty, the lead lgbt organizations don’t. So why those who repeat them (i.e. FRC, etc.) fear being called out?

No one has the audacity to challenge their audacity.”

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Shit, I do. But they’ll never let me on air; I look like bad news.

    Or rather, really good news *rimshot*

  2. hmm… Huckabee doesn’t want gay people to marry because they’re promiscuous. So that must mean he also supports a ban against marriage for straight people who are promiscuous, right?
    Also, football fans are statistically more promiscuous than other people. I propose a ban on football fan marriage. It’s only logical.

  3. There was a study done by a university (or maybe several- not sure if it’s been replicated or not) that found that homophobia is connected to homosexual arousal.
    Just look at all the anti-gay fundies who’ve been caught with male escorts.
    Mike Huckabee… just saying.

    ALSO: “Marriage is not whatever we want it to be” Umm, yes it is… it’s a cultural institution that differs across cultures and time periods. Even Wikipedia could tell you that.

  4. He also criticized Natalie Portman recently. Really he just doesn’t support anything beautiful.

  5. “No one has the audacity to challenge their audacity.”

    Um, where do I sign up for this? Cause, for real, this is BULLSHIT. I translate anger and annoyance into audacity pretty easily.

  6. Pingback: Mike Huckabee for President- News Watch » Blog Archive » Autostraddle — Mike Huckabee Is A Terrifying Possible Future For …

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