[There was a video here]
On today’s episode of Morning Joe, Mike Huckabee repeatedly refused to answer whether he would stand up for others’ supposed “religious liberty” as he has for Kim Davis. As you probably are aware, Huckabee leeched onto Davis yesterday during a press conference that celebrated her release from jail.
The clip above starts with Joe Scarborough asking Huckabee yet another iteration of a question he had by then been asked once or twice before during the lengthy interview: “What would you think if a judge in Arkansas said, ‘I’m not going to divorce these people because Jesus Christ said that divorce is an abomination and it is adultery’?”
Huckabee began to discuss Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton, who last week dismissed a divorce complaint in an attempt to prove a dickish point about allowing gays to marry (“With the U.S. Supreme Court having defined what must be recognized as a marriage, it would appear that Tennessee’s judiciary must now await the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court as to what is not a marriage, or better stated, when a marriage is no longer a marriage,” said Atherton).
Mika Brzezinski then interrupted Huckabee in an attempt to get him to answer the question. “Would you support a clerk who would not give Kim Davis a third or a fourth marriage license? You?”
Huckabee responded that he wasn’t sure he followed this very simple question. “You’re asking a question of a different nature,” he said. “There’s a difference between a marriage between a man and a woman or a marriage between two men and a marriage between two women...What we’re talking about whether we can redefine marriage. Not whether or not that a person can have more than one because the law clearly says what people can do. They can have a divorce, we have laws for that.”
That there is no institution that redefines marriage in the explicit way that divorce does (it redefines it as temporary, in fact) is beside the point. Brzezinski pointed out that same-sex marriage is now, in fact, legal.
“Let me know which article of the constitution that says that same sex marriage is under the jurisdiction of the federal government,” said Huckabee. Here, maybe this tweet could be useful:
Here Huckabee was able to put a finer point on his display of bigotry. He explained:
It requires an agreement on the part of the other branches of government, you can’t just have one branch...I believe [same-sex marriage] is a constitutional abomination but because of my faith, I believe that I have a responsibility to stand with those who are being persecuted not only for their faith but for following the law and especially those who are being beaten up by the heavy hand of the judicial branch of government and put in jail for doing what they believe is right.
And here is really where Huckabee’s opportunism and exploitation of Kim Davis—whose religious egocentrism might as well be full-on hatred for its effect, and certainly comes off as stunning idiocy—becomes clear. For Davis, the decision not to issue marriage licenses hasn’t been framed with a critique of U.S. law or denouncement of so-called activist judges. It is solely about her “religious freedom” to discriminate. She claimed to be acting “under God’s authority” when confronted about her refusal to issue marriage licenses in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, and then released a lengthy statement that reads in part:
To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision. For me it is a decision of obedience. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s Word. It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment, the Kentucky Constitution, and in the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Our history is filled with accommodations for people’s religious freedom and conscience.
Huckabee rushed to her side to impose his own agenda on her repugnant cause. The reason he did this is that he has spent so much time championing “traditional marriage” that when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of nationwide same-sex marriage in June, Huckabee watched one of his most prominent platforms disintegrate under his feet. He watched his relevance dry up on the spot. That must be terrifying for a presidential hopeful and famewhore like Huckabee.
Mike Huckabee used the persecution of gay people to help build his career, and he’s using Kim Davis as a pathetic attempt to keep it afloat. Gay people, Kim Davis—they’re all pawns to Huckabee. So desperate is this man that he never answered the simple question that was posed to him again and again because it would reveal the weakness of his logic. This is what hanging on by a thread looks like.