An American organisation that works to expose the tactics of “ex-gay” groups has raised concerns that a leading Republican candidate for President of the United States has links with known extremist groups.

TruthWinsOut has said it is “alarmed” that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.

The first state caucus for the Republican nomination for the Presidency is being held in Iowa today and many polls put Huckabee, a Baptist preacher, in the lead.

TruthWinsOut pointed to Huckabee’s recent comments on TV show Meet The Press when the candidate, asked if gay people are born that way, claimed: “we may have certain tendencies, but how we behave and how we carry out our behaviour.”

The group also questioned his links with the Christian Reconstructionist movement, which believes the Bible justifies stoning adulterers and homosexuals.

TWO’s executive director Wayne Besen said:

“Huckabee should explain why he is freely associating with known extremists and how this squares with his professed sunny and optimistic vision for America.

“Furthermore, his comparison of homosexuality to pedophilia and necrophilia is as ignorant as it is offensive.

“As the primaries approach, Mike Huckabee is beginning to show his true colours, and they are quite dark and intolerant.”

In Huckabee’s 1998 book, Kids Who Kill, he wrote:

“It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations, from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia.”

Kids Who Kill was co-written by George Grant, a known Reconstructionist, who has also written fanatical books such as, The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action.

The Cato Institute also reported that Huckabee held a fundraiser at the Houston home of Dr Steven Hotze, another leader of the radical and dangerous Reconstructionist movement.

“It is alarming that a man with such backward views is a serious contender for the GOP nomination,” said Mr Besen.