Four Presidential Candidates Sign Pledge Promising to Defend Marriage

Four Presidential Candidates Sign Pledge Promising to Defend Marriage August 27, 2015
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Dr Wendy Longo https://www.flickr.com/photos/wtlphotos/
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Dr Wendy Longo https://www.flickr.com/photos/wtlphotos/

Four presidential candidates have signed the Presidential Pledge for Marriage that is being promoted by the National Organization for Marriage. The four signatories are Senator Ted Cruz, former Senator Rick Santorum, Dr Ben Carson and Governor Bobby Jindal.

Governor Mike Huckabee, Govern Scott Walker and Senator Lindsey Graham have announced that they will not be signing any pledges.

Most candidates have not responded to requests to sign the pledge. Those not responding are: Governors Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Former Governor Jim Gilmore, Senators Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, private citizens Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump.

The National Organization for Marriage makes no mention of the Democratic candidates for president. Even though all of the big name contenders that I know about have not only made public statements in support to gay marriage, but appear to be vying with one as to who can support it the most vehemently, I think this is a mistake. I’ve always operated by giving everyone an equal chance to refuse.

This is the text of the pledge:

The Presidential Marriage Pledge

I, _____________ _____________, pledge to the American people that if elected President, I will:

One, support a federal constitutional amendment that protects marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Two, oppose and work to overturn any Supreme Court decision that illegitimately finds a constitutional “right” to the redefinition of marriage. This includes nominating to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, and appointing an attorney general similarly committed.

Three, conduct a review of regulatory, administrative and executive actions taken by the current Administration that have the effect of undermining marriage and work to restore our policies to be consistent with the proper understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Consistent with this, prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities.

Four, support the First Amendment Defense Act and other legislation that recognizes the right of organizations and individuals to act in the public square consistent with their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman without fear of retaliation from the government.

Five, direct the Department of Justice to investigate, document and publicize cases of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.

There is also a People’s Marriage Pledge. You can go here to sign it. This is the text of the People’s Marriage Pledge.

The People’s Marriage Pledge

I pledge that I will only support a candidate for President of the United States who has pledged to take specific actions to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This includes:

•Supporting a federal marriage amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

•Opposing and working to overturn any Supreme Court ruling that illegitimately finds a constitutional “right” to redefine marriage.

•Nominating to the US Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, and appointing an attorney general similarly committed.

•Conducting a review of regulatory, administrative and executive actions taken by the Obama Administration that have the effect of undermining marriage and work to restore our policies to be consistent with the proper understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Consistent with this, prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities.

•Supporting federal legislation that recognizes the right of organizations and individuals to act in the public square consistent with their beliefs about marriage without fear of retaliation from the federal government.

•Directing the Department of Justice to investigate, document and publicize cases of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.

I also pledge to support only those candidates for federal office who have taken positions consistent with the above policies.

I’m going to withhold my thinking on the whole question of pledges and opinion polls for a while. I’ll probably talk more about it later.

For now, it’s important to see that of the entire field of candidates in both parties, only four were willing to sign the pledge. While the Ds have taken a strong stand in favor of gay marriage, several of the Rs have waffled on the topic. These four do not appear to be waffling at all.

Read the pledge, think this whole process through, and tell me what you think. We’re going to be dealing with this issue for a long time. We need to consider our overall goals and strategies going forward.

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58 responses to “Four Presidential Candidates Sign Pledge Promising to Defend Marriage”

  1. The most popular candidate at the moment has been married 3 times. He’s had a huge cheating scandal all over the news. No one in the majority cares about the gays getting married.

    People are celebrating their 10-year anniversary where I live. The gay marriage ship has sailed. It sailed long ago when heterosexuals mucked up marriage by having children out of wedlock as the norm and no-fault divorce.

    This is a waste of energy and time. Foolishness even. These 4 candidates are delusional if they think this pledge will help get them elected.

  2. More honest wording of the pledge would be something along the lines of pledging to deny same-sex couples equal protection under the law and to deny them human dignity.

    • There is no dignity in same-sex, it’s inherently undignified. If there were no straight people in the world and no Christians, it would still be undignified. So don’t claim dignity for degradation.

      • There is no dignity in 2 people loving each other enough to marry and l live together until death takes one of them? I disagree.

        • Why is everybody so sentimental about ssm, but encourages divorce at the drop of a hat for traditionally married couples?

          • I don’t encourage divorce. Again, in a perfect world, all marriages would be happy, healthy relationships. Not a perfect world. Having said that, I don’t think many marriages are ended at the drop of a hat. Obviously some probably are.

          • So SS couples abuse each other? I suspect not anymore than straight couples. Undignified? I do know where you are coming from, but as I mentioned before, I disagree.

    • No the law would have been over turned. Just like you live by changing the law one way, it can be changed back or another way. Frankly no matter what a law says on a piece of paper, same sex genders will never constitute a marriage. It is an absurdity.

  3. I think the people’s pledge is worthwhile. Not so much for the candidates. The president is the president of everybody, even sinners.

  4. “Pledges” seem more like grandstanding than good policy initiatives.

    Anyway, ssm concerns me a great deal less than abortion. The number of same-sex couples that actually want to marry is relatively small. Granted the larger agenda to normalize same-sex attraction, but it’s really a social fad more than anything.

    Abortion, on the other hand, strikes at the core relationships of the human community: mother/child, father/child, mother/father. That’s far more of a social threat than gay couples.

  5. I am surprised huckabee won’t sign it. That seems weird. It does seem like signing it amounts to saying you will not seek to treat all Americans as equal. Remember, marriage has civil as well as religious meanings. The religious objections some might have should not prohibit non religious gay people from having marriage rights.

    • Except that marriage isn’t a “right.” And changing the definition of marriage from the forever historical definition is kinda insane.

      • Maybe marriage isn’t a right in some third world countries, but it is most definitely a right in the USA. The USSC has said so at least 14 separate times.

          • In effect they do. You can choose to exercise your right to marry, you can choose to exercise your right to vote, you can choose to exercise your right to free speech, or you can choose to exercise none, but you effectively hold a voucher for each of those rights by reason of your citizenship.

            • Most people don’t define constitutional rights (which is what I’m pretty sure you mean) as things that have qualifiers attached to them or that require licenses from the state in order to exercise them (think driver or professional licenses). They are usually the God given freedoms that no one can give or take away. Natural marriage was one of those rights before the population expanded and the government started establishing all kinds of qualifiers for civil marriage which have come and gone. When I got married 40 yrs ago both of us had to have a medical exam and blood test to determine fitness for intercourse and to rule out syphillis and gonorrhea before we could get a license. Can you imagine that today?

              That certain impediments to obtaining a marriage license can be removed for reasons of supposed fairness is not a conferring of a Right. The state can in fact decide not to issue marriage licenses at all because you have no actual right to a civil marriage. And ss couples have no claim to natural marriage either.

              • ReJa, in reply I have 2 points: First, the Supreme Court has said the OPPOSITE of your penultimate sentence in 14 separate opinions, going back to the 1800s. You have an actual “right to marry” and that right is a “fundamental right” that you enjoy as a citizen of this country. I can’t imagine why you think its not your right, when the highest court of the land has told you it is your right so many times.

                Secondly, I take issue with your phrase “natural marriage” . I know what you mean: you mean “marriage between a man and a woman”, or “opposite-sex marriage”. There’s really no such thing as “natural marriage” since marriage cannot and does not simply arise or occur in nature.

    • Without the protection and promotion of the biological family for the good of society as it’s purpose, civil marriage has lost it’s purpose and the public interest is no longer really served by being in the marriage business any more. Ever since no-fault divorce and the high divorce rate set in, it seems like marriage has done very little to protect either families, spouses, children, or society. Children are arguably only protected under divorce law now. That’s reason enough to reconsider the public purpose of supporting marriage anymore.

      And why should the public support with their taxes any defintion of family they think is not worth supporting? Gays can have their non-bio family and divorcees can have their multiple marriages and step-families, and the polys can have their version, and the childless-by-choice can have theirs, but why should we as a nation support any of it if it’s not the best model for the public good or the best model for children? If marriage is just a temporary legal status to facilitate the personal goals of any collection of adults and it’s considered nobody else’s business, then it’s not the business of the state or the tax payers either.

  6. Let’s say that one of the candidates who signed the pledge gets elected and a constitutional amendment is passed that invalidates gay marriages. What then? What happens to the families of gay people who are now married? What happens to children who are jointly adopted by gay couples? What is the immigration status of someone who moved to the USA to be with their new husband/wife? What happens to someone who is already in intensive care and their husband/wife has different wishes for their treatment than another family member?

    • What about all those people who thought DOMA meant they wouldn’t see ssm come into being? What about all the states who had ssm bans on the books and in their voter-amended state Constitutions who thought that was the end of the ssm issue? They found out courts are fickle as heck. Why assume that a social experiment novelty like ssm is a done deal and such a shaky opinion as O v H can’t be overturned as easily as Kennedy reversed his own DOMA opinion on states rights to define marriage? I’d say all ss couples seeking marriage better have their eyes open that the future isn’t certain. They know better than anyone how judges can be politically manipulated.

      • The courts are fickle on this issue? That’s inaccurate. Nearly every state and federal court that has looked at same sex marriage bans recently held them as unconstitutional. One court – the Sixth Circuit – upheld the ban and so the USSC took the case and agreed with all the other courts that such bans on marriage are unconstitutional.

        That’s not fickle, that’s judicial consistency.

        • Actually, no. The Supreme Court overturned its own ruling of two years ago when it said that marriage was a states’ matter. That pretty fickle.

              • I disagree.

                My research shows that the USSC is not fickle, but has consistently held, since at least 1883, that marriage laws and domestic relations laws are the province of several states EXCEPT where federal law controls:

                Pace v. Alabama (1883)
                Maynard V. Hill (1888)

                Loving v. VA (1967)
                Turner v Safley (1987)
                Obergefell (2015)

                If your claim — that the effect of Windsor decision was to take ALL federal control away from marriage and leave it solely to the states, — then Windsor would have effectively invalidated the Loving decision (as well as all the other USSC marriage decisions).

                But that’s not what Windsor did. Windsor and Loving and Obergerfell are are consistent with the jurisprudence that domestic relations matters are left to the states, except where federal laws (e.g., federal constitutional rights) are implicated.

    • The intensive care aregument is fallacy. Anyone can designate someone as their significant other. What happens to the marriages? Nothing. They were never married in the first place. Same sex genders can’t be married, no matter what some what some words on a piece of paper says.

      • And yet they are married in the eyes of the law. And the intensive care situation is real. The next of kin status would change, and as such so would the medical decision making powers.

      • A friend designated me as his medical power of attorney, since he hated his siblings. After a car wreck, I got a midnight phone call – “you’re friend has died, but we brought him back. We are keeping hob alive, do you know his wishes? – and calls for permission to perform various procedures. Also, I went and sat with him in the ER, ICU, and his rooms. This went on for 6 months until he finally died. Yes, the next of kin thing is bogus.

  7. Your stats are disputed to say the least. And while civil marriage for same-sex couples is a legal fact, there are valid reason to oppose it other than bigotry and hate. Or religion.

    While I don’t regard ssm as particularly harmful to society, your claims are bigoted and hateful. That is the real danger.

      • I’ll take that as a rhetorical question, the answer to which interests you not at all.

        I’ll only note that denigrating the people who oppose ssm is not going to raise public opinion in your favor. That’s probably why support for your cause is dropping.

          • I’ve posted this so many times, but the arguments against are based on the interest the state has in any relationship. Why are marital relationships privileged at all? Well, children, for one thing. But also the support a family gives. Mother, with our help, cared for Dad in his Altzeimer’s, as their generation helped Granddaddy care for Grandmother. The obligations of family, when met, pay the community (single people like me) back for the school taxes I pay, as well as the other costs of marriage.

            They’re is also the argument that the sexual system, unique among human systems, is divided between male and female. At its biological base, the male and female systems “marry”.

            Those are arguments against ssm. I won’t engage in the debate anymore, however. The impact of ssm is too small to matter on a broad social scale. The use being made by gay activist bullies, however, is another matter.

  8. Two people, of the same sex can pretend to be married but can never make a real marriage.

    Children deserve both a mother and a father. Purposefully denying them both is nothing short of child abuse.

    • There are many straight single parents–for whatever reason–divorce, out of “wedlock” mothers or a single man raising the child he fathered out of “wedlock”, Does that also constitute child abuse? Children raised by loving adults, no matter the combination of gender, or if that adult is single, (straight or gay) is what is required. In a “perfect” world all children would be loved and wanted and have the advantage of a dad and mom. This world isn’t perfect nor will it ever be. There are too many children who have no one to love and care for them and they end up in “the system”. Those are the abused ones.

  9. Candidates should be wary of committing to one group with a pledge to do anything. Seems that there are many things that could happen that might prevent being able to fulfill each and every point. Then what?? I can only imagine the vitriol that would ensue. I will not sign the Peoples Pledge. How in the world do I know if I could support anything unless I know what it says. Good intentions by politicians often go astray.

  10. These pledges don’t mean much, I don’t think.
    For the next 40 years this struggle will go on, one person and state at a time. We will see the destructiveness of ssm and, eventually, marriage will be restored.

  11. Personally I don’t think pledges are worthwhile. We know where candidates stand on the issues and they should work toward moving the ball toward that direction. Absolutely stating a position when the legislative process will determine the final law is (a) counter productive and (b) creates cynicism when the president can’t accomplish all he signed up for. Politics is a question of direction, not absolutes.

    • HOw do you know where the candidates stand on the issues? PErsonally I think a lot of people supporting Trump say or Walker don’t really know what they would do on gay marriage or abortion. The SBA List pledge on late-term abortion ban has been intensely useful.

  12. Any presidential candidate that signs that pledge with the current political climate has no interest whatsoever in actually winning a general election. I guess it works as a decent exit strategy for resigning gracefully from the race while cultivating a moderate fan base to support them in their next endeavor.

  13. I won’t be signing the people’s pledge because I don’t want to limit myself to voting for someone who has signed it. I don’t stay home on election day, and if no one on the ballot has signed it then I would have to leave that ballot spot blank. Also, if you look at individual candidates’ websites you will see that the issue is on their website. Just because a person won’t act in the way this statement wants doesn’t mean the candidate won’t effectively resolve the problem. In particular, Mike Huckabee has a long history of thinking outside the box to effectively resolve problems. The BP oil spill solutions he had on his show had a major effect in solving that problem. So just because someone won’t sign this pledge doesn’t mean they won’t fix our marriage laws.

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