In a cringe-worthy interview on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, Mike Huckabee compared homosexuality to lifestyle choices like "drinking and swearing," but insists he's not homophobic because he totally has gay friends, guys.

Huckabee demurred when asked if he believes one's sexuality is a choice, but told CNN's Dana Bash: "People can be my friends who have lifestyles that are not necessarily my lifestyle. ... I don't drink alcohol, but gosh, a lot of my friends, maybe most of them, do. I don't use profanity, but believe me, I've got a lot of friends who do. Some people really like classical music and ballet and opera. It's not my cup of tea."

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The former Arkansas governor, who may vie for the Republican nomination in the 2016 election, also likened the rising tide of nationwide support for same-sex marriage to religious persecution. His views on the matter are unlikely to evolve "unless I get a new version of the Scriptures," he added.

"This is not just a political issue. It is a Biblical issue," Huckabee said. "It's like asking someone who's Jewish to start serving bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli ... or like asking a Muslim to serve up something that is offensive to him, or to have dogs in his backyard."

Watch Huckabee's interview here.