Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Tuesday that calling same-sex marriage a "civil right" was an "insult to African-Americans," who experienced "true discrimination" during the era of segregation.
The former Arkansas governor was criticizing those that argue churches and Christian educational institutions should lose their tax-exempt statuses for refusing to marry or accommodate same-sex couples.
"People are saying, 'Well, churches shouldn't have a tax-exempt status. A Christian school or a university should not have a tax-exempt status, shouldn't be able to let students come on Pell Grants.' Because if you equate same-sex marriage to a civil right--," Huckabee said on a local radio station in Baton Rouge, interrupting himself to make his case against the comparison.
"First of all," Huckabee said, "what an insult to African-Americans, who were hosed in the street, who were beaten, who were truly discriminated against with separate restrooms, separate drinking fountains, separate entrances. That was true discrimination and it was horrible. It's hard to say that the redefinition of marriage is on the same basis as was racial discrimination throughout our history."
In the interview, Huckabee also said that the Supreme Court's decision to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states meant that, "ultimately," "marriage can be between any group of people."
"If you live by the sword you die by the sword, and the same court that said, 'Sure, marriage can be between two men, two women,' ultimately it will mean marriage can be between any group of people who want to have a marriage because you can't deny it once you've opened the door."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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