WASHINGTON – What appeared to be a straight-forward interview landed presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee in deep waters for comments he made in reference to his support of a constitutional amendment on the definition of marriage.
In an interview posted this week on the religious Web site beliefnet.com, Huckabee explains that marriage for "as long as there's been human history" is considered between a man and a woman for life. He noted that it's not a "radical view" to affirm this historic definition of marriage.
"I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal," he said. "Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what's been historic."
Taking offense to the remark, the well-known pro-gay group, Human Rights Campaign, claims the former Arkansas governor equated gay "marriage" with bestiality.
David Smith of HRC accused Huckabee of linking a "loving" same-sex "marriage" to bestiality, saying the candidate's thinking is out of sync with mainstream America and most people would find his comment offensive.
In response, the Huckabee campaign said its candidate is not equating gay "marriage" with bestiality, but rather is saying he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, according to CNN. The campaign also said gay rights groups are trying to pick a fight.
This is not the first time the former preacher turned politician has come under fire for comments about the gay issue. In 1992 while running for the U.S. Senate, Huckabee had described homosexuality as "an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle."
Recently, the comment was dug up to pressure the rising Republican contender to recant the politically incorrect statement. However, Huckabee said he still stands by those remarks.
"If we didn't have that [relationship between a married man and woman having children] as the ideal, we wouldn't have a civilization that was able to perpetuate," he said in a December interview with Fox. "So, rather than read into something incredibly out of line, just read into the fact that I believe that the ideal relationship is one man, one woman, pro-life."
Huckabee has drawn huge support from social conservatives who see eye-to-eye with him on the issue of life and family values. He is expected to depend heavily on this voting segment Saturday in South Carolina, where more than half of the Republican primary voters are evangelicals.