GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain on
Monday said he would hire an openly gay staffer to work in his
administration as Bob Vander Plaats, the president of the anti-gay
marriage group The Family Leader, stood by his side.
Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's
Pizza, made his remarks during the second of three stops during the
group's Presidential Lecture Series at Pella Christian High School.
After telling an estimated 140 social
conservatives that laws come from God and that “the biblical
purpose for government is to punish evil and encourage good,” the
65-year-old business man was asked by a
Think Progress blogger if
he'd be opposed to hiring a qualified openly gay staffer for a White
“Nope, not at all,” he answered.
“I wouldn't have a problem with that at all.”
“I just want people who – I want
qualified. I want them to basically believe in the Constitution of
the United States, so, yep, I don't have a problem with appointing an
openly gay person. Because they're not going to try to put sharia
law in our laws,” he added. (The video is embedded in the right
panel of this page.)
Cain has previously said he would be
uncomfortable appointing a Muslim to his administration if elected
Cain made his remarks with the group's
leader, Bob Vander Plaats, at his side. Vander Plaats spearheaded
last year's successful effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court
justices who ruled in favor of legalizing gay marriage in 2009. His
group is lobbying lawmakers to approve an amendment that would define
marriage as a heterosexual union in the state's constitution.
In January, Cain pledged to reinstate
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and veto the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) on the AFA-hosted radio program of
Bryan Fischer. DADT forces gay and bisexual troops to remain
closeted and celibate or risk losing their military careers, and ENDA
would end workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
and gender identity.