The FAMiLY LEADER has been incredibly influential in the Republican Presidential Primary, organizing speaking tours for the candidates in Iowa and setting the standard for social conservative values. Bob Vander Plaats, the organization’s President and CEO, was named one of the top 10 most coveted endorsements. His influence stems from his success helping Gov. Mike Huckabee win the 2008 Iowa Primary as his Iowa state chair. Now, he’s using that leverage to require candidates who wish to secure his endorsement to sign off on a social conservative pledge.
The pledge is called “The Marriage Vow — A declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family” and revolves around steps candidates must take to uphold “traditional marriage” and oppose marriage equality. David Brody at the Christian Broadcasting Network has a preview of some of the 14 points to the pledge:
– Personal fidelity to his/her spouse- Appointing faithful constitutionalists as judges- Opposition to any redefinition of marriage- Support for the legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)- Humane efforts to protect women and children, (sex trafficking, pornography, etc)- Rejection of anti-women Sharia Islam- Commitment to downsizing government because of the burden to the American family
According to Vander Plaats, marriage is facing a “severe crisis” and there has to be a “higher standard.” He will be unveiling the pledge at a press conference at the Iowa State Capitol Building later this morning.
The FAMiLY LEADER’s presidential speaker series has already featured Herman Cain, Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Ron Paul, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty; Speaker Newt Gingrich will be speaking this weekend. Vander Plaats has previously said that homosexuality is a ‘public health risk’ like smoking and compared same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest. With large financial support from Gingrich, he spearheaded a charge to remove three justices from the Iowa Supreme Court who overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.