Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee reportedly resigned from the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation board after some members complained about his conservative views on homosexuality and marriage.
Huckabee announced in his resignation letter on Thursday that he was leaving his seat on the board of the CMA Foundation, a position that he has held for less than 24 hours.
In the letter, the former governor recounted the importance of music in his life, along with his efforts to promote music education in public schools. He addressed the criticism against him after he became a member of the board on Wednesday and went on to explain that he had decided to step down from the position so that students would not be affected by any backlash.
"Now someone who has never met me threatens to wreck valuable programs of the CMA Foundation because of a personal contempt for my faith and politics. I am willing to get out of the way for the sake of the students the foundation will hopefully help," Huckabee wrote, as reported by The Christian Post.
"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. Surely neither the artists or the business people of the industry want that," he continued.
According to Faithwire, famed Nashville-based manager Jason Owen had written to the CMA, warning that his artists would no longer support the foundation if Huckabee is allowed to keep his position on the board.
Owen, who heads Sandbox Management which represents Little Big Town, Faith Hill and Kacey Musgraves, said that the appointment of Huckabee was a "detrimentally poor choice" by the foundation and its leaders and it would only make the organization's job harder and diminish its purpose.
CMA Foundation board member Joe Galante had explained that Huckabee had been selected for a position on the board because of his experience with education reform.
After some members threatened to boycott the CMA, Huckabee chose to step down from his position, saying he does not wish harm to anyone and wanted the focus to be placed on the children who benefit from the music programs provided by the foundation.
The politician expressed hope that the music and entertainment industry would become more tolerant and inclusive and "recognize that a true love for kids having access to the arts is more important than a dislike" for an individual or a group because of their beliefs.
Huckabee ended his letter thanking the CMA Foundation for "believing I had something to contribute," while expressing regret that his presence in the organization had caused controversy and threats to "vital support for deserving kids."