The National Organization for Marriage is applauding Newt Gingrich for signing its “marriage pledge” today, even though just four months ago it didn’t consider him a “major candidate.” NOM believes that allowing same-sex couples to marry is somehow a threat to the “institution of marriage,” but has expressed no concern that Gingrich is on his third marriage and is notorious for his infidelity.
According to the pledge, candidates will advocate for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and appoint a commission to investigate claims of supposed harassment against individuals who oppose marriage equality. Here is the full text of the pledge, which has now been signed by Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich:
I, _______, pledge to the American people that if elected President, I will:
One, support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification.
Two, nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and to applying the original meaning of the Constitution, appoint an attorney general similarly committed, and thus reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.
Three, defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act vigorously in court.
Four, establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of American 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 need.
Five, advance legislation to return to the people of the District of Columbia their right to vote on marriage.
In the few short years it has existed, NOM has become a huge force against LGBT equality. More and more, the organization pushes fringe messages such as ex-gay therapy, links between homosexuality and pedophilia, and the work of hate groups like the Family Research Council and MassResistance. The group also jumps at opportunities to insert same-sex marriage as a wedge issue in elections using its multi-million dollar budget. Jeremy Hooper regularly showcases NOM’s antics and recently highlighted a week’s worth of NOM’s harmful anti-gay messaging.
It’s worth noting that Gingrich has signed this pledge, whereas he merely affirmed The FAMiLY LEADER’s marriage pledge, though that seems to be enough to appease Bob Vander Plaats, who has forgiven Gingrich’s infidelities. The $350,000 Gingrich contributed to help recall the Iowa Supreme Court judges last year may have helped convince VanderPlaats that Gingrich didn’t need to sign that pledge, though he clearly capable of signing others.
NOM points out that Ron Paul is now the the only candidate to have not signed its pledge, casually ignoring Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, and others who also have not. With Gingrich’s signature, NOM has committed to an “intensive communications program to inform Iowa voters who will stand with them to preserve marriage.” Given NOM’s president Brian Brown was recently seen at a high-profile (and expensive) fundraiser for Gingrich, it seems this was the signature the group was waiting for.