[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/17/art.huckabeecom.ap.jpg caption="Huckabee is campaigning in South Carolina ahead of Saturday's primary there."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee is taking heat from some members of the gay community over recent comments that appeared to equate gay marriage with bestiality.
In an interview with the religious Web site beliefnet.com, Huckabee pushes back on recent critics who have called some of his positions "radical."
"I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal," he said in the interview, published on the Web site Wednesday. "Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again."
David Smith of the Human Rights Campaign told CNN Huckabee's comments make clear the former Arkansas governor stance is "out of the mainstream of American thought."
"I think he's equating a loving marriage between two people of the same sex with some form of bestiality," he said. " I think that's really out of the mainstream of American thought, and most people will find that offensive."
Huckabee has previously come under fire for past comments on homosexuality. In his 1998 book "Kids Who Kill," the onetime Baptist minister seemed to link homosexuality with sexually deviant and criminal behavior.
"It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations - from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia," he wrote.
Responding to that passage, Huckabee said on ‘Meet the Press’ last month he was not linking the three, but rather pointing out all are deviations from the "traditional concept of sexual behavior."
Huckabee's campaign told CNN the candidate is not equating gay marriage with bestiality, but rather he simply saying that he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. The campaign also said gay rights groups are trying to pick a fight.
- CNN’s Brian Todd contributed to this report