GOP Candidates Sign Pledge to Create Anti-gay Witch Hunt Commission

Thought Mitt Romney is just a moderate Republican governor? Think again. Mitt Romney is one of three - the extreme of even the extreme GOP field of presidential candidates - Republican candidates to sign a national anti-gay hate group's pledge to not only oppose marriage equality but to conduct a witch hunt of LGBT activists who challenge anti-LGBT propaganda and demonstrators. Here's the pertinent part of the hate pledge from the hate group "National Organization for Marriage (NOM)":
I, [candidate name], pledge to the American people that if elected President, I will:

[...] establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.
Pay attention to the "donate" part - it will come in handy. As usual, hate groups are made up of your run-of-the-mill schoolyard bullies. They think that they have the right to go in and get in people's faces and preach hate, but God forbid anyone gets in their faces and challenge them. That's harassment. Laws already exist to deal with real harassment and violence. What hate groups like NOM want is for LGBT activists who confront them to be intimidated and put on some sort of a list. The only conceivable purpose of this part of the pledge is not to protect the free speech of the hate groups (and yes, even hate groups have free speech) but to chill and silence the speech of those who have the courage to confront them.

To understand NOM a little better, here's just some of their antics, it their own words:



Being in California and having been part of the fight against Proposition 8, I can tell you exactly what kind of activities NOM is talking about and the GOP candidates signed on to witch-hunt, I mean, "investigate." After the passage of Proposition 8, gay activists organized protests against and boycotts of businesses that supported the Yes on 8 campaign with donations. Mormon churches in California were targets of large protests. I don't know in whose world that is harassment, but in a democracy, people not only have the right to know who gave money to support what political campaign but also to take personal and organized action based on that.

This is the type of activity that NOM sees as 'harassment' of people who donate to support the cause of discrimination. Of course, using the democratic freedom of the people to know can be bad for business, and NOM has fought the disclosure of even its own donors, because they know full well that their base of support is not a broad swath of the American people but rather very rich bigots. Just three donors accounted for more than two-thirds of NOM's revenue in 2009. Naturally, those bigshot bigots don't want any trouble or anyone getting the whiff of their donations, lest people decide to use their individual rights and stop patronizing their businesses.

In fact, this very argument from NOM - that disclosure is harassment - has been rejected already by state officials. NOM tried this dirty trick in Minnesota to try to keep shield business benefactors from being disclosed, but state officials didn't have any of it. They rejected NOM's claim on a 5-1 vote.

What the Republican candidates - Romney, Bachmann and Santorum (here, google Santorum [click at your own risk]) - just signed onto is a pledge to launch McCarthyite investigations against advocates for equality and in the process, shield rich and corporate donors from disclosure. Anti-gay witch hunt and the protection of secret donors in a democracy - two for two ain't bad for the nutjobs I guess.


Like what you read? Chip in, keep us going.