NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s Christian views on marriage have cost him his new post on the board of the Country Music Association Foundation.
The pro-life conservative former presidential candidate was forced to step down from the post which he held less than 24 hours after LGBT advocates in the industry became outraged over his appointment.
“The message here is ‘Hate Wins.’ Bullies succeeded in making it untenable to have ‘someone like me’ involved,” wrote Huckabee in a March 1 letter of resignation to board members.
Governor Huckabee’s resignation came amid a flurry of criticism from CMA members and others, reportedly alarmed at the appointment of a ‘homophobe’ to the prestigious board position.
“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,” said Huckabee in his letter. “Surely neither the artists or the business people of the industry want that.”
Huckabee has been outspoken in his Christian beliefs about marriage being between a man and a woman.
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During his 2015 presidential campaign he said he would “absolutely decline” to uphold the Supreme Court's decision redefining marriage – because “it's a matter of saving our republic.”
The same year he held a rally to protest the arrest and imprisonment of Christian county clerk Kim Davis who refused to issue gay “marriage” licenses to homosexuals. He said the arrest shows that Christian persecution has come to America.
“I refuse to sit silently as politically driven interest groups threaten the foundation of religious liberty, criminalize Christianity, and demand that Americans abandon Biblical principles of natural marriage,” Huckabee wrote in a letter to Religious leaders prior to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
“I will fight to defend religious liberty at all costs,” he added.
The former GOP presidential hopeful and father of White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responded to the news after returning from an overseas trip, tweeting, “Got home from 28 hour trip from Taipei that lasted longer than my time on CMA Foundation board. Read my FULL letter of resignation and see that “Hate Wins” and bullies care about themselves than kids needing music.”
“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,” said Huckabee in his letter.
“I’m somewhat flattered to be of such consequence when all I thought I was doing was voluntarily serving on a non-profit board without pay in order to (continue) my decades of advocacy for the arts and especially music.”
Huckabee’s inclusion on the board “sparked hundreds of comments from outraged fans on social media, many of which were threatening to boycott the CMA, the CMA Music Festival and in some cases country music as a whole,” according to The Tennessean, the news organization which broke the story.
And according to the same report, CMA member Whitney Pastorek said:
What a terrible disappointment to see (the CMA Foundation’s) mission clouded by the decision to align with someone who so frequently engages in the language of racism, sexism, and bigotry,” Pastorek wrote. “While Gov. Huckabee's tenure in Arkansas may have resulted in valuable education reform over a decade ago, I find his choice to spend the past ten years profiting off messages of exclusion and hatred (not to mention the gun lobby) to be disqualifying.
“Basically, every gay man in town is furious,” reports Variety Magazine. The magazine which serves the world of entertainment reports that former CMA board member, Steve. Schnur, said:
[T]he town’s phones were lit up all night and into this morning after Wednesday’s announcement. “I got calls in shock from multiple CMA members, asking if I knew about it, some threatening to leave,” says Schnur, who is the worldwide executive of music for EA, the blockbuster video game producer that has moved most of its efforts to Nashville, and who sits on the Recording Academy’s Nashville board. “I’ve had numerous conversations since the second I woke up with chairmen of labels and major managers, all collectively agreeing that this move, which fortunately now has been resolved, really would have put Nashville back 20 years.
Huckabee ended his letter calling for the entertainment industry to become “more tolerant and inclusive” towards those they disagree with.
“I hope that the music and entertainment industry will become more tolerant and inclusive and recognize that a true love for kids having access to the arts is more important than a dislike for someone or a group of people because of who they are or what they believe,” he said.
“My sincere thanks to the CMA Foundation for believing I had something to contribute. I regret that my presence caused controversy and threats to vital support for deserving kids. Kids wanting to learn music shouldn’t be the victims of adults who demand that only certain people can be in the room or be heard,” he added.