The Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF) has pulled the plug on a planned speech by former Arkansas Sen. and Republican candidate for president Mike Huckabee over his comments about transgender people.
According to the Canadian Jewish News,
Huckabee was slated to give the keynote address at the JNF's annual Negev Dinner in October.
Members of the LGBT and the Canadian Jewish communities cried foul over Huckabee's comments earlier this year
in which he called transgenderism a "social experiment." An online petition at change.org also asked that Huckabee be removed from the dinner's guest list.
In February, Huckabee joked he could have called himself transgender in high school to shower with girls.
"Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in P.E.," Huckabee said. The comments were not released until two weeks ago.
"I'm pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, 'Coach, I think I'd rather shower with the girls today.' You're laughing because it sounds so ridiculous, doesn't it?"
Later, he gave an example of a young child seeing a transgender adult in a public restroom.
"There is something inherently wrong about forcing little children to be a part of this social experiment," he said.
The change.org petition, according to the Canadian Jewish News, said Huckabee's comments "spread degrading hatefulness towards and about transgender people."
It also referenced Huckabee's support for Josh Duggar,
a member of the Duggar family depicted on the reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting." Duggar, 27, recently admitted to molesting young girls, including his sisters, when he was a teenager.
"Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable,'" Huckabee said.
JNF CEO Josh Cooper told the Canadian Jewish News Huckabee "is a staunch supporter of the State of Israel," but organizers canceled his appearance because "the media spotlight has recently focused on Mr. Huckabee's comments about issues that bear no relevance to JNF or autism."
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