2012 presidential candidates have until
August 1 to sign onto an anti-gay marriage pledge announced Thursday
by Iowa's Christian conservative group The Family Leader.
The group is asking candidates for the
GOP nomination and President Barack Obama to sign The Marriage
Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family.
The candidates who sign it will be
pledging not only to “vigorously” oppose marriage equality, but
to be faithful to their own spouse.
pledge ironically also asks candidates to have “Respect for the
marital bonds of others.”
“Married people enjoy better health,”
said Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of the group. “They enjoy better sex,
longer lives, greater financial stability, and children raised by a
mother and father together experience better learning, less
addiction, less legal trouble and less extramarital pregnancy.”
Vander Plaats added that the “personal
fidelity” promise is not a knock against former House Speaker Newt
Gingrich, who has divorced twice and acknowledged past infidelities.
After failing to secure the Iowa GOP
gubernatorial nomination last year, Vander Plaats spearheaded the
successful ouster from the bench of three Iowa Supreme Court justices
after the 7-judge panel unanimously ruled in favor of gay marriage
proponents in 2009. The group has also lobbied lawmakers to approve
a constitutional amendment that would reverse the court's decision.
The effort died earlier this year in the Democrat-controlled Senate
after passage in the House.