Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee resigned Thursday from the Country Music Association Foundation board of directors, less than a day after being accepted to the charity’s board.
“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,” Huckabee wrote in his letter of resignation.
Huckabee avoided any mention of the backlash he received over his anti-gay rights record.
But he wrote, “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 two-time Republican presidential candidate previously compared legalizing same-sex marriage to incest and polygamy in 2010. He also compared same-sex adoption to experimentation, saying that “children are not puppies.”
“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 Jason Owen, the co-president of Monument Records who is in a same-sex marriage and has a son, in an email to the association’s CEO Sarah Trahern and CMA Foundation executive Tiffany Kerns. “Owen wrote in an email obtained by MusicRow. “Not to mention how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is. What a shameful choice.”
The CMA Foundation is the association’s philanthropic arm and supports music education programs across the country.