Gary Johnson comes out against Family Leader Pledge

Just another reason to support Gary Johnson in 2012:

July 9, 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada – Presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson charged today in a formal statement through his campaign that the Family Leader “pledge” Republican candidates for President are being asked to sign is “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded”.  Governor Johnson also plans to further state his position against the Family Leader pledge this afternoon in Las Vegas, NV at a speech he will deliver at the Conservative Leadership Conference.

Johnson went on to state that “the so-called ‘Marriage Vow” pledge that FAMILY LEADER is asking Republican candidates for President to sign attacks minority segments of our population and attempts to prevent and eliminate personal freedom.   This type of rhetoric is what gives Republicans a bad name.

“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. 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”.

“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’.

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.

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. 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.

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the editor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.


  1. Good man. I many have to register Republican for next year.

  2. Dan Quayle was right.

    “I believe the country would be a lot better off if children were born to married couples.”—Bill Clinton, 1993

    • Things have changed. By 21st century rules we salute Murphy Brown for not having an abortion and praise her mother for raising her with real American values.

      • No, because she was a liberal. She gets d*mned for being a liberal sl*t and not marrying the father of her – oooops! – for being a libera sl*t.

  3. Another great example of why Gov. Johnson is the man we need to lead this country in 2012!

  4. Being a gay man who is socially liberal but fiscally conservative, this is great! This man really wants me to go outside and shout! I’ve been waiting so long for a republican to stick up for the rights deserved to all American people.

  5. It also seems like the Republicans would have a significantly better chance of winning the election with Johnson as their candidate than any of the alternatives on offer so far. It seems like he could capture a chunk of Obama’s base away from him, and every vote you take from the other guy is 2 you can afford to lose from your own side (so long as they just stop voting, rather than switching to the other guy).

      • If I remember the InTrade predictions from last election during the primaries, Ron Paul had the highest probability of winning the election, conditional on him winning the nomination. Besides which, he’d have to have a better shot than Romney, let alone anyone else in the field.

  6. They’re not all daft:

    Republican Mitt Romney will not sign a controversial marriage pledge pushed by a conservative Iowa group, becoming the first GOP presidential candidate to reject the document.

    Good for Mitt, but why does Gary Johnson get no respect?

    • in a different era with a different GOP, I could imagine myself, if not voting for Romney, being utterly content with his assuming the Presidency.

        • Presumably one in which Romney got to be the pragmatist he was as governor, and didn’t have to pander to the lunatic asylum that’s today’s GOP.

  7. It looks like the comment might have been lost but Art Deco asked:

    “It would be fascinating to know which of the fourteen points thereupon Gov. Johnson (or the rest of you) finds ““offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded”. “

    I’m going to just spitball here but it looks like the basic opposition to same-sex marriage which I find increasingly indefensible on Constitutional grounds and an implication of banning pornography.

    • As well as federalizing divorce law [1] and the idiot care-tactic notion that we’re in danger of Sharia law being imposed upon us.


      Fierce defense of the First Amendment rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.

      which seems pretty clearly to mean that we have a constitutional right to ban anything that offends us.

      1. Conservatives being strong supporters of states’ rights except when they’re not.

      • which seems pretty clearly to mean that we have a constitutional right to ban anything that offends us.

        It seems pretty clear you need to put that bong down.

        As well as federalizing divorce law
        Conservatives being strong supporters of states’ rights except when they’re not.

        Folks who were itching to make use of the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” to compel Utah to recognize bogus ‘marriage’ ceremonies performed in Hawaii or Vermont (at the behest of the appellate courts in those states) are not respecters of local discretion in matters of social policy.

        • You are aware that that last paragraph is a complete non sequitur.

          • Excuse me, but you were the one who offered the phrase ‘federalizing divorce law’, and the phrase ‘conservatives being strong supporters of states’ rights except when they’re not”. Cannot see how it is ‘non sequitur’ or ‘tu quoque’ to point out that the Defense of Marriage Act is not prescriptive with regard to the content of state matrimonial law and acts to inhibit federal courts from compelling states to recognize ‘gay’ ‘marriages’ solemnized elsewhere – which is to say it preserves local discretion in these matters.

          • Right. If I’d been talking about DOMA, your comment might have been relevant.

          • And if there were no push for the FMA, the fact that DOMA isn’t an FMA might matter.

          • No, there’s a push because the Right thinks gay people are icky.

          • Aye, people have a negative opinion of sodomy and the social nexus which surrounds its practice. They tend to the view that local communities and collections of local communities should have discretion over how the law regards that social nexus. These matters are translated into struggles over constitutional provisions when the appellate judiciary elects to arrogate that discretion to itself. It would not have occurred to anyone prior to about 1993 to seek a ‘Federal Marriage Amendment’ because it would not have occurred to anyone that discretion over the provisions of matrimonial law would migrate to unelected and imperious appellate judges. Who asked the bloody judges to involve themselves in these matters and who celebrated when they did? You do that, and then you complain later that the political opposition is seeking to ‘federalize matrimonial law’. The word for that is chutzpah.

    • Constitutional provisions are not a function of your wishes or imagination.

      Case law from federal appellate courts has over the years made it difficult to enforce state and local statutes on obscenity and technological developments in the last 15 years have frustrated such a project as well. As far as I am aware, this body of case law does not state that obscenity laws (routinely enforced with regard to the distribution of printed matter prior to 1952 and with regard to the distribution of film prior to 1966) were in-and-of-themselves violations of constitutional provisions.

      The notion that constitutional provisions require county clerks to issue marriage licenses to pairs of dudes is facetious.

      (Gov. Johnson’s remarks do indicate he has a rather potted understanding of ‘principles of liberty’, however).

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