As Iowa’s FAMiLY Leader prepares to endorse a presidential candidate ahead of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich has issued a statement affirming the Leader’s pledge to oppose marriage equality for gays and lesbians, deny women access to abortion, and reduce the debt. Read his full response here and the marriage excerpt below:
Defending Marriage. As President, I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted under my leadership as Speaker of the House, and ensure compliance with its provisions, especially in the military. I will also aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal and state courts. I will support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification. I will also oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman. I will support all efforts to reform promptly any uneconomic or anti-marriage aspects of welfare and tax policy. I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.
Vander Plaats welcomed Gingrich’s affirmation saying, “We are pleased that Speaker Gingrich has affirmed our pledge and are thankful we have on record his statements regarding DOMA, support of a federal marriage amendment, defending the unborn, pledging fidelity to his spouse, defending religious liberty and freedom, supporting sound pro-family economic issues, and defending the right of the people to rule themselves.”
In August, Gingrich said he wouldn’t sign the pledge unless the group adopted certain tweaks to their document, which had previously argued that African American children were better off during the period of slavery and called for a ban on pornography. Gingrich has long supported Vander Plaats and his efforts, however. Last year, he offered his vocal support for the Iowan’s successful campaign to oust three of the nine Iowa Supreme Court justices who had unanimously ruled in favor of marriage equality and his associates bankrolled more than one-third of the $850,000 campaign to remove the justices.
One Iowa reacts: “Only time will tell whether this will be enough for the Family Leader to break its commitment to its members and endorse someone who won’t sign their pledge, but one thing is clear – Newt Gingrich is the last person who should be telling loving and committed couples, regardless of whether they are gay or straight, about marriage and how they should be living their lives.”