By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com June 07 2011 10:50 AM ET
Insurgent GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain offered an odd
explanation Monday for why he’d be OK with appointing a gay cabinet
member — gay people, he said, would be opposed to sharia law.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all,” Cain said assuredly in response to a question from a blogger at ThinkProgress. “I just want people who are qualified. I want them to believe in the Constitution of the United States of America. So yep, I don’t have a problem with appointing an openly gay person. Because they’re not going to try to put sharia law in our laws.”
The candidate made the statement after a speech hosted by Family Leader, an antigay group in Iowa, and then quickly moved on, even laughing at his own point.
Perhaps Cain is aware that homosexuality is illegal under sharia law, with the penalty in some countries being death. But he was likely reacting to earlier criticism for saying he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to his theoretical cabinet. In March he claimed that “there is this creeping attempt” to “gradually ease sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government.”
Not everyone in Cain’s audience at the Family Leader speech agreed with his acceptance of a gay cabinet member. The Des Moines Register reported that although the crowd was receptive to his broader message, some said they were “concerned” about his answer.