The former Arkansas governor and failed presidential candidate was reacting to a caller’s story of being abused by a scout leader while serving as a Boy Scout.
“I think if anybody wants to argue about this case, they need to hear your story. You make us all understand why the Boy Scouts made a decision that at least I think was the right one,” he told the caller.
“Tim” said he had been repeatedly abused and offered a theory on what caused it. “I believe homosexuals try to target groups like that to get a leadership area in,” the caller said. “If there hadn’t been a homosexual in my troop, I wouldn’t have been traumatized for about three years.”
Huckabee shared that the leader of his own childhood scout troop had molested other boys. “We didn’t even know what a homosexual was in those days,” he said.
On Tuesday, the organization said it was upholding the policy after conducting a confidential two-year review.
Zack Ford of ThinkProgess.org called the comments “offensive and harmful.”
“Drawing a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia is the same weak argument John Briggs was making 40 years ago in an attempt to ban gay teachers in California. It’s unfounded slander against the entire gay community,” he wrote.
“If conservatives like Huckabee believe that banning gays helps protect young people from adult abuse, even that fallacious argument does nothing to explain the value of discriminating against other young people,” he added.