Huckabee and Christian Right Wage War on Pro-Gay Doritos

Doritos decided to go gay for a day, and the right wing just couldn’t handle it.

Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast

Doritos is gay now.

Last week, Frito-Lay (the snack food and chip division of PepsiCo) unveiled a limited edition bag of Doritos Rainbows, to celebrate gay pride and raise money for LGBT youth. The Rainbows were mailed to anyone who donated at least $10 to It Gets Better, gay-rights activist Dan Savage’s nonprofit.

The pro-gay tortilla chips quickly sold out, and Doritos (a sponsor of the pride parade in Dallas on September 20) asked their followers to show their support for the LGBT community using the hashtag “#BOLDANDBETTER.”

PepsiCo has been voicing corporate support for gay rights for years, and many of their products, including Doritos, are on the Human Rights Campaign’s buyer’s guide. Still, this latest, rather innocuous development triggered the religious-right outrage machine powered by the usual suspects.

“The latest assault on Christian values comes from a company you’d never guess,” wrote One Million Moms director Monica Cole, who apparently knows nothing about the company. “Not only is Frito-Lay promoting homosexuality among teens, but it is backing the agenda of [Dan Savage,] one of the most anti-Christian bullies in America…Contact Frito-Lay and urge them to drop its promotion of anti-Christian bigotry.”

Likeminded consumers made their indignation known on social media, and some workers at a Texas Frito-Lay plant reportedly refused in protest to work on the line producing the colorful rainbow chips.

This is all dogmatic par for the anti-gay course. One Million Moms and American Family Association are upset because of course they are. They’re in the business of lashing out at everything and anyone who publicly endorses The Homosexual Agenda. It would be weird if they weren’t angry at the bags of flamboyantly gay junk-food.

But surely no presidential candidate would waste his or her time on this, objecting pettily to queer Doritos. Surely, that would be beneath the dignity of someone running for the highest office in the land, right? Right??


That’s because Mike Huckabee, prominent Kim Davis cheerleader and anti-Beyoncé combatant, is running for president. “It is beyond me to understand how a responsible corporation would think that partnering with someone who spews the vicious vitriol that Savage does would be worthy of your corporate contributions,” the Republican presidential candidate wrote in a letter. Huckabee also urged Frito-Lay to cut ties with “hate groups” like It Gets Better.

“If good ol’ Mike Huckabee thinks the path to the White House runs through a bag of chips and some mouthy faggot’s advice column… he’s more deluded than we thought,” Savage wrote in an email to The Daily Beast, responding to Huckabee’s letters. “But he’s not really running for president, of course, he’s running to sell books and get his face on TV, so he can go back to fleecing the rubes.”

Over the years, Savage and Huckabee have had nothing but unkind words for each other. They did however manage to have one polite conversation about gay marriage on a 2005 episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Here’s an excerpt:

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Huckabee: Well, I think that the issue is one of doing what’s best for the kids. And if taking care of those children, and it should be, then I think it is of less consequence, the sexual orientation of the couple, than it is that the children’s welfare be concerned. And the parents who chose to take care of them are financially responsible.

Savage: So then you’re pro-gay marriage?

Huckabee: No, I’m not pro-gay marriage, Dan.

Savage: Well, I have a seven-year-old adopted son with my partner of 10—almost 11—years. If I were to drop dead tomorrow, most of the property is mine, my partner would inherit very little of it because of the tax laws that disfavor him because he’s not my legal spouse. And he would be impoverished, and also raising this child and the next one that we’re adopting. So if you believe in protecting children, I think you should be for gay marriage.

Now that marriage equality in America is, thanks to the Supreme Court, a settled issue and the law of the land, veteran culture warriors like Huckabee are free to move on to other pressing issues such as limited-edition Doritos.

A Frito-Lay spokeswoman did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Huckabee’s hot take.