2012 Election | Iowa | News

Iowa Conservatives Push Anti-Gay Pledge

VanderPlaats By now we all know that social conservatives will only back a presidential candidate who opposes marriage equality. That is a given.

But Iowa Republican Bob Vander Plaats, a man who previously compared homosexuality to hazardous smoking, is taking his traditional politics to a whole new level: he and his right wing organization, The Family Leader, are asking candidates to not only vow opposition to same-sex marriage, but to Sharia law and infidelity, as well.

From On Top Magazine:

[Vander Plaats] will unveil The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family at a press conference on the west steps of the Iowa state capitol building...

According to Fox News, the pledge includes support for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bars federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, opposition to gay marriage laws, picking constitutionalists for federal judgeships and opposition to Sharia law. Candidates are also being asked to pledge fidelity to their spouses.

Isn't it clever how social conservatives, aware that national opinion on LGBT rights has shifted left, are now trying to link gay panic to another irrational fear, Islamophobia?

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  1. How, exactly, is this pledge different from Sharia law?

    Posted by: Daniel | Jul 7, 2011 10:13:27 AM

  2. How about a pledge not to wear toupees?

    Posted by: shle896 | Jul 7, 2011 10:14:40 AM

  3. Proudly standing on the wrong side of history! It's a war you've already lost, guy. Sorry.

    Posted by: Craig | Jul 7, 2011 10:20:08 AM

  4. OMG...Will the serial adulterer Newt seriously be able to sign this pledge?

    Posted by: Mike Triggs | Jul 7, 2011 10:21:15 AM

  5. Nice dye job. You're making cash at the tax payers expense, how about go to a salon instead of doing it in the gym bathroom.

    All jokes aside, as Daniel posted, how is this different than Sharia law? This guy is so far over the bend he's butting up against the very thing he says he opposes.

    Glad these guys are going the way of the dinasour. Except dinasours were interesting.

    Posted by: Bart | Jul 7, 2011 10:23:25 AM

  6. Anti-gay: check, no problem
    Anti-Sharia law: check, no problem
    (cause you know otherwise Sharia law will rule in the Muslim-loving US)
    Anti-infidelity: is 2 out of 3 ok? we're hypocritical Republicans, after all

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 7, 2011 10:25:38 AM

  7. Why are republicans so obsessed with sharia law? I mean really

    Posted by: Alex | Jul 7, 2011 10:26:13 AM

  8. Because if Iowans have anything to worry about, it's Sharia law... How many people even know what Sharia law is??

    Posted by: Jesus | Jul 7, 2011 10:29:11 AM

  9. Republicans have seriously hopped on the Crazy Train.

    Posted by: ralph | Jul 7, 2011 10:31:21 AM

  10. Rednecks think Sharia Law is a Black woman who doesn't want her Man to stay out late at night partying.

    Posted by: Gay American | Jul 7, 2011 10:34:16 AM

  11. The incitements to discrimination against Muslim-Americans are worse than mere hysterical looniness. Where observance of all aspects of Sharia law were to be made illegal, for example, it is conceivable that anti-Muslim bigots would shutter a Muslim grocery store because the owners had observed Sharia-compliant procedures in selecting which food items to sell. Then too, some observant Muslims follow Sharia-compliant banking and investment practices. There is no harm to anybody else in their doing so. But, these zealots in seeking to ban Sharia law, period, would make it illegal for a Muslim-American to make Sharia-compliant investments. Where bigotry had an especially vicious hold, a Muslim-American could conceivably be thrown in jail for having followed Sharia in deciding where to invest or save his money. While there is no chance of Sharia becoming the law of the land, there is a chance that the laws of certain states could be used to inflict unjustifiable harm on our Muslim fellow citizens.

    Posted by: Scott Rose | Jul 7, 2011 10:34:42 AM

  12. As commenters have noted, the talibangelists want their own dominion over US civil life. Excluding sharia is an empty gesture perhaps meant to distract from their plan to impose their own system.

    Meanwhile, do we see Republican party discipline continuing to disintegrate?

    Posted by: Russell | Jul 7, 2011 10:35:33 AM

  13. Meanwhile Obama plans to gut Social Security and Medicare.

    Can we ahve a SECOND political party please?

    Or is that too much to ask for?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 7, 2011 10:41:23 AM

  14. This has been said by a few commenters already but bares repeating. He is too stupid to realize that he's advocating his own brand of Sharia law.

    Posted by: Curt | Jul 7, 2011 10:45:52 AM

  15. For what it's worth, while the bigotry and homophobia is awful, I always feel sliiightly better with anti-marriage equality wingnuts who also attack issues such as infidelity and divorce, which has done more harm to so-called traditional marriage than anything.

    Posted by: Guest | Jul 7, 2011 10:55:13 AM

  16. The Sharia law issue is based on Canadian and English precedent regarding some issues of divorce, mediation and lending. For Muslim women in Canada and England, the presumption that their divorce should be handled through Sharia-inspired mediation rather than regular divorce courts has meant that 3rd world injustice has followed them west. However, conservatives in the US have exaggerated the problem out of all proportion here based on the notion that liberal courts here will apply international precedent to US law, which doesn't happen too often.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 7, 2011 11:05:48 AM

  17. If people like Vander Plaats and his ilk had their way, America would be a Christian version of Saudi Arabia where Religious Law is THE Law. I'd have to research it, but it wouldn't surprise me if Saudi Arabia or some other Islamic country had prohibitions against Christianity.

    Posted by: Chadd | Jul 7, 2011 11:06:00 AM

  18. i love that he is asking candidates to pledge to be faithful to their spouses. Um, isn't that implicit in a straight conservative marriage? "I know that you promised to be faithful when you got married, but can you please REALLY promise to be faithful?"

    Posted by: bob | Jul 7, 2011 11:06:05 AM

  19. And infidelity? Thin ice dude...and I bet you'll be the first one busted.

    Posted by: Danny | Jul 7, 2011 11:13:19 AM

  20. I have no problem with people opposing Sharia Law. I think everyone should. And I think infidelity isn't something that should be applauded, so I can't say I have a problem with them opposing that either.

    Yes they're anti-gay, but other than that I don't think this should be the cause of any outrage.

    Posted by: Matthew | Jul 7, 2011 11:15:55 AM

  21. @Matthew: Opposing Sharia Law out of fear, ignorance or blind devotion to a belief system that is different is not the same as opposing Sharia Law on its merits. Judaic Law has a lot of things that most Americans would recoil from, so why no push to ban Judaic Law? This is simply a scare based tactic designed to get votes.

    And you don't think that a Republican candidate has to vow opposition to same sex marriage in order to be a viable candidate is an outrage? Really?

    Posted by: Chadd | Jul 7, 2011 11:28:52 AM

  22. Matthew- who decides what is Sharia law? Will merely attending a mosque count? Will Muslims be allowed to take religious days off from work. What's next- deciding that Jews can't have kosher kitchens and celebrate Hannakuh?

    Posted by: homer | Jul 7, 2011 11:29:33 AM

  23. BVP is an ^*?*#$£ !

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 7, 2011 11:37:03 AM

  24. Oh no no no we don't want Sharia Law. Write it big, speak it loud and louder, post it everywhere: OUT OF THE QUESTION. By comparison marriage equality is...there's no comparison.

    Posted by: uffda | Jul 7, 2011 11:42:28 AM

  25. What I'm saying is that Islamic laws have no place in our system of government. I feel the same way about Christian laws, Judaic laws, or any other religious laws. Religion too often clouds rational thought, and has no place in government. That doesn't mean I don't respect someone's right to freely practice their religion in their private lives. If something encroaches on that right, then I have faith in our judicial system to protect it.

    But like I said, I don't think the ramblings of a fringe hate group should really be that big a cause for outrage. I find it too easy to brush them off. I guess I'm naive, but I think a majority of Americans have enough common sense to do the same.

    Posted by: Matthew | Jul 7, 2011 11:44:40 AM

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