Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
on Saturday called an anti-gay marriage pledge “offensive and
Johnson, who declared in April his
candidacy for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, is among the
field's most gay-friendly candidates.
The 58-year-old Johnson believes
government should not intervene unnecessarily in the private lives of
individual citizens and supports civil unions for gay and lesbian
In a statement posted at his campaign
website, Johnson blasted Christian conservative group The Family
Leader's pledge, titled The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of
Dependence Upon Marriage and Family,
saying it gave Republicans a bad name.
document – introduced Thursday and sent to GOP candidates and
President Barack Obama – asks candidates to “vigorously” oppose
marriage equality, be faithful to their own spouse, vow to protect
women and children from pornography and reject Sharia law because it
is a “form of totalitarian control.” The group, influential
among social conservatives, has said it will not endorse any
candidate that does not sign the pledge.
'pledge' is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against
everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn't fit into a
particular definition of 'virtue,'” Johnson
“While the Family
Leader pledge covers just about every other so-called virtue they can
think of, the one that is conspicuously missing is tolerance. In one
concise document, they manage to condemn gays, single parents, single
individuals, divorcees, Muslims, gays in the military, unmarried
couples, women who choose to have abortions, and everyone else who
doesn't fit in a Norman Rockwell painting.”
Party cannot afford to have a Presidential candidate who condones
intolerance, bigotry and the denial of liberty to the citizens of
this country,” he added.
Representative Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick
Santorum were the first candidates to sign the pledge.