National Organization for Marriage only musters four signatures for marriage equality repeal pledge

Shortly following the Supreme Court’s decision to make marriage equality the law of the land, the National Organization for Marriage announced its plan to throw the 2016 election for Democrats by getting as many Republican candidates as they could to pledge to overturn the decision.

Turns out, the Republican field isn’t playing along.

The organization, which is going broke amid a series of stinging defeats at home and abroad, was only able to get four candidates to sign their pledge to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision: Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and Ben Carson. According to The New Civil Rights Movement, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker and Lindsey Graham have said that they aren’t signing any pledges this year.

Either way, this means that the organization went to the entire Republican field hawking an anti-gay pledge, and over half the field — including almost all of the top-tier candidates — ignored them. Which is awesome. And pretty awkward. As I wrote when they announced their pledge:

NOM co-founder Brian Brown, via Wikimedia Commons

NOM co-founder Brian Brown, via Wikimedia Commons

This kind of pledge would have been relatively noncontroversial in GOP circles in, say, 2004, when George Bush rode state-level anti-marriage amendments to re-election and used them as a springboard to try (and fail) to pass a national version. But even today’s Republican Party, which is fifty shades of crazy, is split on the idea of banning same-sex marriage. And I can’t wait for Jeb Bush to politely, and awkwardly, tell NOM that they can take their pledge and know it in the Biblical sense — all while reminding everyone how awful his brother was. At least, that’s what he’d do if he were the smart one in the family…

…Of course, there are plenty of GOP candidates who are going to be more than happy to sign on to NOM’s pledge. They just aren’t the candidates who take their chances of winning the White House seriously. Everyone’s reading the same polls, but not everyone’s doing the same market research. And Ben Carson knows that he has no shot at winning but a great shot at parlaying his candidacy into a massive pile of money. Being rabidly anti-gay makes that pile bigger, not smaller.

So three cheers for the National Organization for Marriage fading into irrelevance. The Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling led to a number of pro-marriage equality groups willingly, and happily, shutting down because the fight was over; they’d won. The National Organization for Marriage is dying a slower, more painful death. Being ignored by the Republican field is just the latest, sweetest nail in their coffin.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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11 Responses to “National Organization for Marriage only musters four signatures for marriage equality repeal pledge”

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  2. Denton Young says:

    “Ben Carson knows that he has no shot at winning but a great shot at parlaying his candidacy into a massive pile of money. Being rabidly anti-gay makes that pile bigger, not smaller.”

    That would explain a lot about his campaign.

  3. gratuitous says:

    I hear Ted Cruz is sucking up to appearing with T Rump next week at a “rally” to defeat the multilateral Iran treaty. I wonder if any of the newshawks in our political media will ask the Senator from Texas about his signing the NOM pledge?

    Just kidding; of course they won’t.

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  5. JaneE says:

    If you make a pledge to a special interest group, you are announcing that you will not represent your district, or your state, or your country. It works if there are enough people with that interest to elect you, but it makes everyone else angry with your failure to faithfully perform your duties. Not to mention the fact that actually holding to your pledge means that you will forego any possible compromise that might be possible, and even advance your position a little. Real politicians should know better.

  6. Indigo says:

    I suspect Huckabee saw the point you’re making. He wants to be considered an Actual Candidate. I don’t think he can pull that off but he’s working the program as if . . .

  7. Indigo says:

    Four? That’s not quite a quorum yet.

  8. BeccaM says:

    There are three types in play here:

    – The True Believers: The gay-obsessed homophobes like Rick “Don’t Google My Name!” Santorum who can be counted upon to pledge for anything remotely anti-gay. (I will admit to being a little surprised Huckabee didn’t sign.)
    – The Campaign Grifters: The ones like Carson who know damned well they have zero chance of winning or of collecting serious campaign money, so they’ll go for the fringe causes, where there’s still plenty of money to be made but not the kind associated with running an actual national campaign. These make up the bulk of the GOP Klown Kar Kontingent.
    – The Actual Candidates: Trump started in the 2nd category but due to his obvious popularity has moved into this group. Also included are candidates like Walker, Bush, and Kasich. All of them have learned there is only potential downside to signing these stupid pledges and no upside and that the win-win-iest approach of all is to mouth some platitudes but refuse to go on the record with specifics.

    A decade ago, there was no downside to a 100% anti-gay position. Now there is, at least among some, and a lot of that is because so very many conservative Republicans now know and have family members who are openly LGBT. And a lot of them are asking themselves, “Hey, what’s not conservative about gay people settling down and raising families?”

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  10. Glen Thompson says:

    Doing my farewell you bigoted sh*ts happy dance.

  11. Knottwhole says:

    The sooner they die, the sooner I can piss on their grave.

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