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?


  1. Bart says

    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.

  2. says

    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

  3. Scott Rose says

    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.

  4. Russell says

    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?

  5. Guest says

    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.

  6. anon says

    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.

  7. Chadd says

    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.

  8. bob says

    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?”

  9. Matthew says

    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.

  10. Chadd says

    @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?

  11. says

    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?

  12. uffda says

    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.

  13. Matthew says

    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.

  14. walter says

    what the hell is the difference between sharia law and christian fundies . they both try to push their religious believes on everyone. both are bad. they both limit peoples’ civil liberties and freedoms.

  15. NY2.0 says

    @MATTHEW, Americans voted for Bush twice, common sense is not so common. Especially when at least 29 states have constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. A vast portion of the population are reactionary idiots.

  16. Jay says

    I think the last line goes something like: “And requires candidates who are also parents to enforce the “Cookies for Santa” clause. Children not leaving cookies for Santa will be whipped with a switch of their own choosing found out behind the outhouse.”

  17. Tony says

    I love how these right-wing Christians are opposed to Sharia law, but really, they would be in favor of many of the policies. American Taliban, anyone?

  18. Rin says

    Uhhhh, Sharia law is a little more than food preparation. Look at the UK, they are now allowing separate court system for divorce. As a female…sorry, can’t get behind this. I’ve lived in Muslim countries and it is total suckage for women. Uh-uh no.

    I don’t want Sharia Law.
    I don’t want Evangelical Christian Law.
    I don’t want Jewish Law.

    I’d pledge that in a heartbeat. I’m a follower of Jesus, but I don’t think that my religion ought to be all mixed up with the government and vice versa.

    This dude, however, is nuts. He’s nuts for believing that he is the one who determines who we all have to marry. He is nuts for that stupid hair. And he is nucking futz if he thinks that Republicans OR Democrats can keep their penis in their pants.

  19. anon says

    The problem is not the private practice of Sharia (except for things like stonings, beheadings and honor killings/rape), which are protected under the 1st amendment. Keeping Halal (=Kosher) is fine too. The problem is the presumption by the courts that both parties which to mediate disputes using Sharia (or Judaic law). For example, Sharia forbids charging interest on loans (though there are ways around this), so one day Ahmed wants to stop paying interest on the loan he got from his cousin Mussed and claims both parties must follow the community standard of Sharia law. Mussed claims that this instead is better resolved in regular court ordered mediation. In the UK and Canada the courts have ruled that Mussed waived his rights to the normal court system by entering into the agreement within the local Muslim community. It’s like a piece of Pakistan has landed just outside of London.

  20. Derick says

    Islamophobia and Sharia Law are two VERY different things. This is the United States. If you want to live here, you practice OUR laws not Sharia Law. Wake up.

  21. billy wingo says

    REpublicans – like neo-nazis- always needing someone to hate to sell their agenda.

    BTW hitler was a born and baptised catholic. he has yet to be excommunicated by the church that claims to support life, despite his 50 million murders.

    which included the Jews, gays, and others in the death camps. explains in about 80 pictures why the catholic church was all but spared in wwii in europe.

    the church that realy hates gays. The same church that gave the world the hatred of Jews with their christ killer and blood libel statements.

  22. paul says

    what pisses me off about these people…is they have this impression that the country belongs to them alone. they forget we are tax payers too!! If someone wants to be a muslim, they have that right. I say mind your own business, focus on the economy and taxes and making this a better world for EVERYONE!! Stop nagging about things you cannot control. guy!

  23. Rin says

    I will sound like a broken record but for MANY religions…if you are a female it is not as easy as saying: Oh, I’ll stop being a Muslim woman, I’ll stop being a Mormon, I’ll stop being Amish…ladeda!

    Do you know that even in the US there are more honor killings of Muslim women than incidents of anti-homosexual violence? Women are killed because they dishonored their family by being too liberal.

    Not all people freely choose to be a religion or even a-religious. Family pressure, societal pressure, and…in some cases the chopping off of your nose or death on your own front lawn may prevent that.

    I have many liberal Muslim friends that I respect greatly, but there are far, far, far more conservative Muslims (percentage wise) than conservative Christians. And those people scare me as much as any crazy Christian conservative alive in the US today. They’re not the ones killing their daughters for disrespecting the family.

    I realize that you are affected by Christians more because there are more of them, but its not Team Christian vs Team Muslim in who is less bigoted. LIke we have to defend Muslim behavior towards women because Christians are meaner to us…

    Anyone here who is defending their right to have Sharia Law in the US…ask yourself if you would like to be a 15 year old girl living in a conservative Muslim family practicing Sharia.

  24. says

    No one is defending having Sharia law in the US and there is a less than zero chance that Sharia law will come to the US. Even the Christian wingnuts know that. Including it in their little pledge simply allows them to mix in a little anti-Muslim hate along with their anti-gay hate. It’s very transparent to anyone with a brain. I repeat, Sharia law has no chance of coming the US; this is fear-mongering 101.

  25. johnny says

    For RIN and anyone else that thinks sharia law is little more than food prep:

    3.3 Topics of Islamic Sharia law

    3.3.1 Purification
    3.3.2 Prayer
    3.3.3 Funeral prayer
    3.3.4 Poor tax
    3.3.5 Fasting
    3.3.6 Pilgrimage
    3.3.7 Trade
    3.3.8 Inheritance
    3.3.9 Marriage Polygamy
    3.3.10 Divorce Child custody
    3.3.11 Justice Legal and court proceedings Penalties Leaving Islam/Apostasy
    3.3.12 Dietary
    3.3.13 Liquor and gambling
    3.3.14 Customs and behaviour Rituals Dress codes

    …..just sayin’.

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