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article imageGary Johnson: Conservative Family Leader pledge 'offensive'

By Michael Krebs     Jul 10, 2011 in Politics
Former New Mexico governor and Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson spoke out against the pledge Republican presidential contenders were expected to sign by the Conservative group Family Leader, calling it 'offensive.'
In a statement released by his campaign on Saturday, former New Mexico governor and Republican Presidential candidate Gary Johnson spoke out against the Conservative group Family Leader and the "pledge" the group has attempted to make all Republican presidential contenders sign.
Johnson, who most closely aligns with Libertarian values on the separation of church and state, called the Family Leader pledge "offensive."
“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults," Johnson said. "I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the 'public’s pocket book.'"
The Family Leader "pledge" gained national attention after Conservative Minnesota congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann signed it. Bachmann's endorsement of the Family Leader pledge has brought her considerable media attention, particularly around language concerning slavery from which the group has since backtracked, according to a Washington Post report.
Ten excerpts from the "marriage pledge," as it is also known, were published with accompanying pictures of Congresswoman Bachmann on Buzzfeed's "Greatest Hits from Michelle Bachmann's Marriage Vow:"
1. "Faithful monogamy is at the very heart of a designed and purposeful order—as conveyed by Jewish and Christian Scripture, by Classical Philosophers, by Natural Law, and by the American Founders—upon which our concepts of Creator-endowed human rights, racial justice and gender equality all depend."
2. "Enduring marital fidelity between one man and one woman protects innocent children, vulnerable women, the rights of fathers, the stability of families, and the liberties of all American citizens under our republican form of government."
3. "Our exceptional and free society simply cannot endure without the transmission of personal virtue, from one generation to the next, by means of nurturing, nuclear families comprised of sexually-faithful husbands and wives, fathers and mothers."
4. "Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African- American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President."
5. "LBJ's 1965 War on Poverty was triggered in part by the famous Moynihan Report finding that the black out-of-wedlock birthrate had hit 26%; today, the white rate exceeds that, the overall rate is 41%, and over 70% of African-American babies are born to single parents—a prime sociological indicator for poverty, pathology and prison regardless of race or ethnicity."
6. "Social protections, especially for women and children, have been evaporating as we have collectively 'debased the currency' of marriage."
7. "This debasement continues as a function of adultery; 'quickie divorce;' physical and verbal spousal abuse; non-committal co-habitation; pervasive infidelity and unwed cheating among celebrities, sports figures and politicians…"
8. "…anti-scientific bias which holds, in complete absence of empirical proof, that non-heterosexual inclinations are genetically determined, irresistible and akin to innate traits like race, gender and eye color…"
9. "…as well as anti-scientific bias which holds, against all empirical evidence, that homosexual behavior in particular, and sexual promiscuity in general, optimizes individual or public health."
10. "Therefore, in any elected or appointed capacity by which I may have the honor of serving our fellow citizens in these United States, I the undersigned do hereby solemnly vow to honor and to cherish, to defend and to uphold, the Institution of Marriage as only between one man and one woman."
Johnson sees the Family Leader document as rhetoric that undermines the Republican Party.
“This ‘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 stated. "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."
According to Johnson, the Republican Party cannot win the 2012 election while embracing intolerance.
"The Republican Party cannot afford to have a Presidential candidate who condones intolerance, bigotry and the denial of liberty to the citizens of this country," Johnson concluded. "If we nominate such a candidate, we will never capture the White House in 2012. If candidates who sign this pledge somehow think they are scoring some points with some core constituency of the Republican Party, they are doing so at the peril of writing off the vast majority of Americans who want no part of this ‘pledge’ and its offensive language."
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