Mike Huckabee who ‘joked’ about the murder of trans people quits country music charity board
The former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, resigned from the Country Music Association Foundation board of directors this week.
Huckabee faced a backlash over a number of stances against LGBT rights he has aired throughout his time as Governor of Arkansas and beyond.
Writing in a letter of resignation, Huckabee who has made his stance on LGBT issues clear in recent years, said that some had “bullied” him out of the appointments with threats of boycotts and the reversal of support.
He wrote: “I genuinely regret that some in the industry were so outraged by my appointment that they bullied the CMA and the Foundation with economic threats and vowed to withhold support for the programs for students if I remained.”
The two-time Republican presidential candidate Huckabee, has in the past hit out at same-sex marriage, comparing it to incest and polygamy, suggesting that adoption by same-sex couples is experimentation, has attacked trans people, joked about rape and murder, used gay as an insult, and various other anti-LGBT stances.
He oddly did not mention the controversy around his LGBT-rights stance in his letter.
But he did write: “If the industry doesn’t want people of faith or who hold conservative and traditional political views to buy tickets and music, they should be forthcoming and say it.”
The Country Music Association Foundation was warned by business owners that they would drop support if Huckabee remained as a board member.
Jason Owen, who is married to his same-sex partner and with who he has a son, is the co-president of Monument Records.
He told Monument CEO Sarah Trahern and CMA Foundation executive Tiffany Kerns that his companies and their clients would drop support of the foundation in light of Huckabee’s appointment
“Huckabee speaks of the sort of things that would suggest my family is morally beneath his and uses language that has a profoundly negative impact upon young people all across this country,” wrote Owen wrote in an email published by MusicRow.
“Not to mention how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is. What a shameful choice.”
A manager of Sugarland’s Kristian Bush, and a member of the CMA, Whitney Pastorek, was another who set out her concern in Huckabee’s appointment.
She wrote in an email that he is a person who “engages in language of racism, sexism and bigotry,” according to the Tennessean.
Another CMA board member, Joe Galante, spoke to USA Today to defend the appointment, saying he “led an impressive administration while serving the state of Arkansas and his policy experience with education reform with education reform is something we are fortunate to be able to learn from.”
Country music fans tend politically to be conservative leaning, and gay rights is an issue which isn’t often discussed within the industry.
The CMA Foundation is a charitable arm which supports education through music across the country.
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Previously Huckabee criticised the acceptance of transgender people in gender-appropriate bathrooms, saying he wished he was trans so he could spy on girls in the locker room showers.
He said he wants to revise hate crime legislation, to protect Christians who are discriminating against gay people.
The former presidential hopeful claimed that inviting gays to meet the Pope is like inviting alcoholics to an open bar.