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The Craziest Parts of NOM’s Marriage Pledge


By Matt Baume

We’re down to the last few days before the Supreme Court rules on marriage. In the mean time, the National Organization for Marriage is asking all of the GOP presidential candidates to sign an anti-equality pledge. Let’s take a look at just how crazy this pledge gets.

There are a couple reasons NOM’s pledge is nuts. Look at what they’re asking all of the candidates to agree to. First, they want candidates to support a constitutional amendment to ban marriage nationwide. This will never happen. George Bush called for an amendment back in 2004 and that went nowhere. Since then, public support for marriage equality has gone from 35% to 55% — if they couldn’t get any momentum behind an amendment then, they’ll never get politicians to spend political capital on it now.

But they don’t stop there. NOM also wants candidates to “work to overturn any Supreme Court decision” in favor of the freedom to marry. That just isn’t how things work. Presidents don’t get to overturn Supreme Court decisions. NOM wants the president to only nominate judges who will uphold marriage bans, but at this point, legal consensus so strongly supports marriage equality that supporting marriage bans is a sign that person isn’t qualified to be a judge.

Third, they want the candidates to reverse all the recent new policies that recognize same-sex spouses. That would mean returning to the days of kicking spouses out of hospitals, denying health care, deporting bi-national couples, removing gay couples from the census, denying funeral leave when a spouse dies, separating family members in emergency shelters — this is how it used to be until just a few years ago. And sure, a president could take us back to that. But they’d look pretty monstrous.

Fourth, NOM wants the candidates to weaken civil rights laws, creating loopholes to let companies and citizens to discriminate if they cite a religious justification. That could actually happen — and it already has in some states — so it’s a huge concern. And fifth, they want the Department of Justice to investigate harassment against people who oppose marriage equality. Sure, gays and lesbians are harassed every day, fired, kicked out of their homes and schools, separated from their families … but NOM gets a little criticism and suddenly they want a federal investigation.

If a candidate signs this crazy pledge, it means one of two things. Either they have no intention of keeping their word, or they know they have no chance of being elected so they might as well make promises they know they can’t keep. NOM issued a similar pledge in 2012, and most of the candidates signed it. We’ll see if the same thing happens this time. After all — NOM may not even exist by the time the election rolls around.


  • 1. brandall  |  June 22, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Looking forward to the day (very soon I think) they file bankruptcy.

  • 2. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I'm looking forward to the day we see Brian Brown having no choice but to work the drive up window at Chik-fil-A to make ends meet.

  • 3. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  June 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Perhaps cleaning toilets at a distribution center for TYLENOL brand products would be more fitting.

  • 4. Steve27516  |  June 22, 2015 at 8:28 am

    That's a pleasant thought, brandall –

  • 5. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  June 22, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Many of the individuals who support NOM self-identify as Christians.

    (I moved to HATU—The Bass Ackwards State, a.k.a. Utah, during the run-up to the vote on California Prop. 8. The fear-mongering, deliberately deceptive behavior of California and Utah Mormons was the most un-Christ-like, hypocritical behavior seen in modern times. I recently moved to New Mexico. . . love it here. . . so I no longer have to live with that garbage.)

    Every major world religion and many secular philosophies include some form of The Golden Rule in their teachings. Treat other people (i.e., your neighbors) the way that you yourself want to be treated. The Christian holy books indicate that Jesus called this principle the Second Greatest Commandment.

    Do NOM supporters want to be treated with dignity and respect? Or do the supporters want to be demeaned and vilified by deliberately contrived, fear-mongering lies?

    Do NOM supporters want to enjoy the benefits and protections of secular government that their neighbors already enjoy? Or do the supporters want to be second-class citizens, denied the simple things that their neighbors value dearly?

    Do NOM supporters want to be denied the fundamental liberties guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution of the United States? If yes, which constitutionally guaranteed rights are they willing to give up? Perhaps NOM supporters would willingly give up their Eighth Amendment protection from Cruel and Unusual Punishment. That might be entertaining.

    Do NOM supporters want to be told how to live by politically powerful religious extremists from some other faith who use their unsubstantiated personal opinions (a.k.a., religious beliefs) to justify behavior that NOM supporters would find abhorrent?

    NOM supporters should be ashamed of the hypocrisy of the NOM organization.

  • 6. Eric  |  June 22, 2015 at 9:22 am

    You are trying to apply rationality and reason to superstition. It doesn't work that way. For many Christians, any sin is ok as long as it is anti-gay.

  • 7. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Agreed. These are the people that keep going back to the Catholic Church Sunday after Sunday for over a decade taking their children with them; all the while knowing that their churches are rancid with pedophile priests. Not only do the priests rape their children, the bishops shuffle these pedophile priests after they're caught, and the parents still keep bring their children to church. Why? Because that's what "traditional" mums and dads do. They talk about boycotting the boyscouts if the scouts allow gay adults, yet their children are raped year after year sending them to church. Would you send your kids alone to catholic school? Not me.

  • 8. davepCA  |  June 22, 2015 at 11:14 am

    A question – when SCOTUS announces their decision some time in the next few days, is there a particular time of day when they typically do this, i.e. something like 9AM eastern time?

  • 9. OctaA  |  June 22, 2015 at 11:16 am

    SCOTUS releases opinions at 10AM EST.

  • 10. wes228  |  June 22, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Technically it's 10AM EDT. 😉

  • 11. OctaA  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Oh yeah daylight saving I forgot.

  • 12. davepCA  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks, everyone!

    Now I know how early to set my alarm for the next several days : )

  • 13. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Today's for opinions were released release and announced in succession by SCOTUSBlog within the first 10 minutes of 8AM MDT (10 AM EDT, 7AM PDT). So we may just have an announcement by 8:15 MDT this Thursday or Friday.

    I wish all the supporters here at EoT could get together for a HUGE celebration party. Perhaps at Rose's house :D. Unless we could get one of our local residents from the beautiful Virgin Islands to host. Hmmm, who do we have that lives in the beautiful Virgin Islands?

  • 14. VIRick  |  June 22, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    "…. who do we have that lives in the beautiful Virgin Islands?"

    Tony, I'm here, eagerly waiting for you, with open arms!

  • 15. davepCA  |  June 22, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    It's a safe bet that there will be huge rallies in many major cities. I'm just outside San Francisco and have been to all of the previous similar events that have occurred around previous legal decisions, and I"ll definitely be there for this.

    In SF, we usually start with a massive rally at the corner of Castro & Market, then march down Market Street to City Hall. As soon as I hear the announcement for this ruling I'll be heading to the city for whatever is planned.

    So – if anyone else here on EoT wants to meet up and say 'hi' at the SF event, let's make a plan to meet, okay? Let me know.

  • 16. A_Jayne  |  June 22, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Just a truth to keep in the back of our minds about Constitutional amendments: Public opinion goes a long way in affecting those efforts, but it does not determine if they will be successful. Congress would initiate a potential Amendment, then 3/4 of the state legislatures would have to pass it.

    How many state houses are in (R) control right now? If people's complacence continues to result in low-turnout elections, how many may be in (R) control in the future?

    Remember, the electorate does not vote directly on Constitutional amendments, the legislatures do…

  • 17. wes228  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    There are two steps to amending the Constitution: proposal and ratification, and each of those two steps has two possible methods.

    * 2/3 of both houses of Congress
    * 2/3 of state legislatures call for a national convention, the states send delegates to that convention, and the convention votes on amendments to propose (**this has never happened in the history of our country**)

    RATIFICATION (Congress picks the ratification method.)
    *3/4 of the state legislatures
    *3/4 of conventions assembled within each state

    While citizens cannot vote directly on constitutional amendments, Congress could bypass the state legislatures and send the amendment to state conventions. The people would vote for representatives who would only vote on that amendment (making it almost like a direct referendum).

    I don't see any such amendment passing though, no matter which method is used.

  • 18. A_Jayne  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    With all of the "sleeper" dominionists now running for (and getting elected to) local and state offices, I am unwilling to hold that it is not likely. Too many undertones going on in politics these days. This is no time to be caught sleeping at the wheel.

  • 19. wes228  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I think the greatest threat is electing a Republican president who will have the opportunity to replace Kennedy, Breyer, and/or Ginsburg during his term, and thus get Obergefell v. Hodges overturned.

    I am hoping against hope that Roberts, despite voting against us, would refuse to overturn that decision since he abhors politicizing the Court.

  • 20. Zack12  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Heh, fat chance of Roberts not politicizing the court, as he's done so already.
    It's why 2016 is so important, we don't want to see a horror show on SCOTUS.

  • 21. wes228  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    There is no doubt in my mind that while I support Bernie Sanders I will vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. None of this "Hillary is just as much a corporate shill as the Republicans so why bother voting."

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  June 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Let's not forget the Senate, which has at least as much influence on who the nominee is as the President. They tell the President who they could & could not accept.

  • 23. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    And this is how we lost Prop 8 in California in 2008. "This is California, Proposition 8 could NEVER pass in a state like California."

    Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Remember, if you don't go out and vote and encourage your friends to do the same you may as well have voted for the other side.

  • 24. Eric  |  June 22, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    We lost, because we thought Christians would follow California election laws and not resort to bearing false witness.

  • 25. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    don't you mean ASSuMed?

  • 26. OctaA  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    The GOP control 68 out of 98 state legislative bodies, (69 and 99 if you count Nebraska).

    This includes both houses in 30 states, (31 if you count Nebraska) and one house in a following 8 states.

    They also control 31 Governors and both houses of Congress.

    Democrats only have full control (both houses and Governorship) of 7 states.

  • 27. A_Jayne  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Exactly! And why voting in every election is so important.

  • 28. Zack12  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Something the Democrats are just now starting to figure out.

  • 29. wes228  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Only the legislatures vote on the constitutional amendments submitted to them; the Governors have nothing to do with it. And the amendment must be approved by both houses.

    So that means they would–at best–get 31 states and they need 38.

  • 30. A_Jayne  |  June 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Well, that's what they have right now. Who knows with a couple more low-turnout elections…

  • 31. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    We do have the coasts, but remember, the dominionists have most everything in between California and New Jersey. All they need is a charismatic leader in the whitehouse to goosestep over LGBT rights and reverse the US back to 1955.

  • 32. ericshoot  |  June 22, 2015 at 11:45 am

    SCOTUS added 06/26 to announce one or more decisions! Is Justice Kennedy really going to announce the decision on Obergefell on 06/26 to coincide with the Lawrence and the Windsor decisions?!!

  • 33. A_Jayne  |  June 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

    OMG! How cool would that be?

    See calendar and statement here:

  • 34. ericshoot  |  June 22, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I have a hunch it's happening! From 2010 and on, they've never release any opinions on a Friday, that is, until THIS FRIDAY!!

  • 35. A_Jayne  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Exactly! My hopes are sky-high. Even just knowing they will announce one or more decisions that day will keep me energized all week…

  • 36. wes228  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I'm thinking that with only 7 opinions left they want to wrap up the term this week and not go into next Monday. We'll get 4 opinions on Thursday and the remaining 3 on Friday. Boom. Done!

  • 37. A_Jayne  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Perhaps, but the 29th (Monday) is still on the calendar…

  • 38. wes228  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    They aren't obligated to go to Monday. At the end of the second-to-last day of the session, the Chief Justice announces that the following day will be the last day of the term. So on Thursday we will know for sure if Friday is the last day.

    Still, I find it odd that they announced they were adding Thursday this morning but waited until this afternoon to announce they were adding Friday. It seems like it was a last-minute decision because they have their opinions ready and want to wrap up the term.

  • 39. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    That…or perhaps 3 on Thursday. Three on Friday including Obergfell. And then King on Monday 6/29.

    Or if the Court wants maximum drama, they''ll announce 5 lesser decisions on Thursday, only Obergefell on Friday and lastly (but not leastly) King next Monday June 29th.

    In any case it'll all be over by 8:15 MDT on Monday 6/26. The Fat Lady (Maggie Gallagher?) will have sung.

  • 40. Eric  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Not very, if they are willing to continue irreparable harm just so dates on a calendar match.

  • 41. A_Jayne  |  June 22, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I think I understand what you mean – not delaying Obergefell due to the daily irreparable harm those state laws and amendments cause. But getting a favorable decision Thursday or Friday this week would be fabulous – Friday would be, date-wise, even more historic than it already will be…

  • 42. Steve27516  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Wow. Just: wow.
    How long we have waited for injustice to wither and be replaced by truthfulness and honor and dignity.
    We're almost there.

  • 43. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    If you count starting at Baker v. Nelson, then we've been waiting since October 15, 1971. Presuming we finally become 1st class citizens this Friday, we'll have only waited 15,961 days or 43 years, 8 months, 12 days.

  • 44. Eric  |  June 22, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I start counting from when the Theodosian Code went into effect in 439. That is when Christians first codified their anti-gay animus in civil law.

  • 45. Rick55845  |  June 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    You are a treasure, Eric. I love your wit and the cool manner in which you deliver it.

  • 46. Eric  |  June 22, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you.

  • 47. sfbob  |  June 22, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I'll continue to count until we're sure it's no longer legally permissible to discriminate against us. Marriage equality is of monumental importance but it still is not the endgame.

  • 48. ianbirmingham  |  June 22, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Does the counting stop when it's no longer legally permissible to discriminate in the US? People in Iraq, Iran etc. will be counting for much longer than that.

  • 49. sfbob  |  June 22, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Your point is certainly valid, Ian. I suppose the only honest answer I can give you is "yes" from a domestic perspective; from an an international perspective of course we cannot stop counting.

  • 50. brandall  |  June 22, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Santorum and Huckabee sign-up to Rick Scarborough's pledge, not the NOM pledge. While both are equally dispicable, Rick's has no measurable actions.

  • 51. Mike_Baltimore  |  June 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Do they promise to follow Scarborough, even if to the bitter end (bitter end as they see it)? If they do, all I can say is 'good riddance to bad rubbish'.
    (… )

  • 52. SethInMaryland  |  June 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I think it's possible they are saving Obamacare for Monday, Obergefell for this friday

  • 53. VIRick  |  June 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Since the Supreme Court itself also loves drama and symbolism:

    Very. Very. Likely.

  • 54. Rick55845  |  June 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I think that's very likely. They might need to release the Obergefell opinion on a day all by itself so Scalia can read his histrionic rant. I can't wait!

  • 55. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 22, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Perhaps Scalia and the rest of the RAT pack will also announce they are getting divorced in protest of the Majority's ruling in favor of ME.

  • 56. Rick55845  |  June 22, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I wouldn't be surprised. Opinions handed down so far this year do show a schism developing between Scalia and Thomas. They are married to each other, aren't they? 🙂

  • 57. ianbirmingham  |  June 22, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Thomas is actually the least popular Justice this term…

    Alito agrees with him 79% of the time
    Scalia agrees with him 76% of the time
    Kennedy agrees with him 70% of the time
    Roberts agrees with him 67% of the time
    Ginsburg agrees with him 63% of the time
    Kagan agrees with him 62% of the time
    Breyer agrees with him 59% of the time
    Sotomayor agrees with him 57% of the time

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