Bachmann Is First To Sign Iowa Anti-Gay Pledge

Jim Burroway

July 8th, 2011

Michele and Marcus Bachmann

GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was the very first out of the gate to sign a new Anti-Gay pledge drafted by Bob Vander Plaats and Iowa’s Family Leader. Titled, “The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family” (PDF: 1.02MB/8 pages), its points include (page 3):

Social protections, especially for women and children, have been evaporating as we have collectively “debased the currency” of marriage. This debasement continues as a function of adultery; “quickie divorce;” physical and verbal spousal abuse; non-committal co-habitation; exemplary infidelity and “unwed cheating” among celebrities, sports figures and politicians; anti-scientific bias which holds, in complete absence of empirical proof, that non-heterosexual inclinations are genetically determined, irresistible and akin to innate traits like race, gender and eye color; as well as anti-scientific bias which holds, against all empirical evidence, that homosexual behavior in particular, and sexual promiscuity in general, optimizes individual or public health.

Under “The Candidate Vows,” candidates are required to affirm that they will perform “Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage — faithful monogamy between one man and one woman — through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.” The vow also requires the “Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.”

Michele Bachman at the New Hampshire debate

During last month’s GOP debate in New Hampshire, Bachmann reaffirmed her support for the federal marriage amendment.

Footnote 8 of the document includes an explicitly pro- ex-gay plank, indicating the political utility that social conservatives find in the movement: “No peer-reviewed empirical science or rational demonstration has ever definitively proven, nor even has shown an overwhelming probability, that homosexual preference or behavior is irresistible as a function of genetic determinism or other forms of fatalism.”

The footnote also claims that LGBT people have an average life expectancy of about 40 years, and cites a 1997 report by Robert S. Hogg et al., from the International Journal of Epidemiology. That study, which has become a favorite study for anti-gay extremists to distort, was based on research performed in Vancouver from 1987 through 1992, at the very height of the AIDS crissis The question that they were trying to answer was not about the mortality of gay men overall, but rather the impact that HIV might have on the Vancouver’s gay population. Vancouver was one of the epicenters of the epidemic in the early 1990s. When anti-gay extremists misrepresented that study to claim that the average lifespan was forty years, Hogg and his colleagues responded in a 2001 letter to that same journal, saying:

The aim of our research was never to spread more homophobia… [I]f we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996. As we have previously reported there has been a threefold decrease in mortality in Vancouver as well as in other parts of British Columbia .

In fact, several recent studies have shown that people with HIV have near-normal life expectancies, and there is no peer-reviewed data showing that gay people overall have a life expectancy that is any different from anyone else’s.

The same vow also requires candidates’ “rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.” Because, you know, the imminent imposition of sharia law is the pressing issue right now in the U.S.

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has declined to sign the pledge, saying that he has a policy of not signing any pledges. Rep. Rom Paul (R-TX) has said he has reservations. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said last night he was reviewing the pledge. The agreement to “personal fidelity” to his or her wife could be a thorn to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and retired Georgia businessman Herman Cain have not yet responded to the pledge. Vander Plaats has set a deadline of August 1.

ZRAinSWVA

July 8th, 2011

With reference to your other article (DOJ’s defense of DOMA Section 3: “you’re right, my bad”), I find it utterly astonishing that Bachmann continues to press this issue, i.e. we know, and the courts are saying, what we’re trying to do is unconstitutional, but we’re going to press forward regardless because, well, we have the moral high ground.

Are they simply pandering or are they just oblivious to what our constitution says.

Her political agenda scares the Cr*p out of me!

Paul J. Stein

July 8th, 2011

I wonder what her stand on the BIBLE premise that women/wives are PROPERTY.

Matt

July 8th, 2011

“The footnote also claims that LGBT people have an average life expectancy of about 40 years”

No, it doesn’t. It claims that gay and bisexual men do. Are you automatically replacing “gay” with “LGBT” the way newspaper editors replace “black” with “African American,” leading to lots of hilarious mistakes over the years like the Fresno Bee’s infamous 1990 “new taxes will help put Massachusetts back in the African American”?

“In fact, several recent studies have shown that people with HIV have near-normal life expectancies”

I looked back at the two previous BTB posts you linked, as well as the studies themselves, and they don’t show this. The studies found that people with HIV _can_ have near-normal life expectancies (that’s the exact language of your second linked post), not that they _do_. A great deal depends on the affected person’s finances, location, behavior, etc. Honestly, I think it’s irresponsible to suggest that becoming infected with HIV won’t affect a person’s length of life. There is a great deal of assumed privilege in such a claim.

I don’t support the “FAMiLY LEADER” pledge at all, and it is indeed a nasty piece of work. Its wretchedness speaks for itself, and need not be distorted by PC attempts to be “inclusive” or something.

Kevin

July 8th, 2011

A part of me LONGS for Bachman to win the GOP nomination because I think she’d garner about 30% of the vote (the right-wing crackpots, mostly). But with the economy in the tank, moderates might actually vote for “Anybody But Obama.”

CPT_Doom

July 8th, 2011

Matt, honey, your point is irrelevant, as actually was Jim’s discussion of HIV longevity. In any case, the study being cited by the anti-gay hatemongers has nothing to do with the lifespan of people who happen to be gay; rather it is about the lifespan of people who happen to have a serious, often fatal, disease. A similar analysis could be conducted on the African-American population in the US, who comprise 50% of HIV cases in this country, but no one would claim that being African-American was the cause of the reduction in overall life expectancy.

When bigots like Michelle Bachmann (or is it Michelle Amble if you don’t recognize her “marriage” as valid?) or Van der Platts cite these kinds of data, they do so for one reason only – to smear all LGBT people as freaks and subhuman scum.

Richard Rush

July 8th, 2011

No peer-reviewed empirical science or rational demonstration has ever definitively proven, nor even has shown an overwhelming probability, that homosexual preference or behavior is irresistible as a function of genetic determinism or other forms of fatalism.

If the consequences for humanity were not so serious, I would be amused at how the born-againers require an unattainable level of empirical evidence for things such as innate homosexuality, evolution, climate change, and Obama’s birthplace, while requiring no empirical evidence to support their myriad religious beliefs. For the former, as more evidence accumulates, they simply raise the bar. For the latter, as the lack of evidence is exposed, they simply lower the bar.

Ergo, the annoying notion of evidence becomes an irrelevant triviality.

Priya Lynn

July 8th, 2011

Very interesting, Richard.

Ezam

July 8th, 2011

Everyone knows Republicans used the economy and jobs before last year’s election as excuses to push their social agenda, but I’m starting to believe that many, if not most voters also used the same excuses to elect people they knew would be more focused on things like abortion and LGBT issues than what really matters right now.

Priya Lynn

July 8th, 2011

Very interesting, Ezam.

KZ

July 8th, 2011

This document has to be especially infuriating to those who have made a sincere attempt to change their sexual orientation.

These divisive, hateful politics will come back to bite her in the butt.

tucson gal

July 8th, 2011

Does the pledge also say that you only get one crack at heterosexual marriage — not this serial monogamy favored by most? Unless it does, they’re all a bunch of hypocrites.

Désirée

July 8th, 2011

@Paul
she actually supports the notion of women being subservient to their husbands. see the previous BTB article on her & her husband for more info.

Timothy Kincaid

July 8th, 2011

ZRAinSWVA,

Are they simply pandering or are they just oblivious to what our constitution says.

Once you understand their perspective, a lot of what they say makes more sense. It isn’t any more sensible, but it’s more cohesive.

Their is a hierarchy in law. Any law that contradicts the higher law is invalid:

US Constitution
State Constitution
State Law
Municipal Code
Homeowners Agreement

They have one more layer. Above the US Constitution is the Bible.

PLAINTOM

July 8th, 2011

I will be the impolite one since everyone else is too courteous. This woman is a total religious nutjob. She needs heavy medication to stop hearing voices. She absolutely does NOT need to have control of Nuclear Weapons!!!!

tucson gal

July 8th, 2011

So, no, the pledge does not advocate for the repeal of divorce laws. It says the candidate must stay faithful to current spouse and that candidates must support cooling off periods on “quickie” divorces, etc. So even though it speaks to the damage caused by divorce, signers don’t have to do anything about it, except to only have sex with their spouse.

I’m not well steeped in Christian lore, but I’ve heard Jesus had a lot to say in condemning divorce but nothing on homosexuality? I guess the signers are convenient Christians and not truly faithful.

Also, interesting that the pledge calls for protection of only TWO of the rights granted under the First Amendment. I guess those other three are quaint and out of date (freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and the right to petition the government). Actually, that omission says tons to me about motives.

Mike

July 8th, 2011

“Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage — faithful monogamy between one man and one woman — through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.”

Do the laws we currently have actually have anything to say about marriages having to be “faithful”? That’s news to me.

Johnson

July 8th, 2011

Has it occurred to everyone that Bachmann is getting so much publicity and “play” to make the front runner for the GOP seem more Moderate and Mainstream? There is no way she can win and the GOP know it. Something to consider…

homer

July 8th, 2011

So who peer-reviewed the Bible?

MattNYC

July 8th, 2011

@homer

ROTFLMAO

Thanks for the laugh.

Nick Thiwerspoon

July 8th, 2011

The ChrisTaliban. Filled with hate and bias, narrow-minded, obscurantist and dangerous. Richard Bush’s comment about evidence is very apt as is Homer’s.

David in Houston

July 8th, 2011

“No peer-reviewed empirical science or rational demonstration has ever definitively proven, nor even has shown an overwhelming probability, that homosexual preference or behavior is irresistible as a function of genetic determinism or other forms of fatalism.”

Yeah, except for all that ACTUAL scientific research that overwhelmingly proves that sexual orientation is innate: gay/straight brain scans, identical twin births, hormone research, birth order studies, pheromones studies. I mean, holy crap, how many studies do you need to have that all point to the same conclusion? Do they seriously think that people “choose” to alter their brain chemistry? Of course, this is coming from a group of people that think that if you believe in science, that it’s somehow an affront to God.

Grover Clark

July 8th, 2011

Did anybody else’s gaydar go off in viewing that pic of Bachman’s hubby?

Shofixti

July 9th, 2011

@DavidinHouston

The tricky thing is that “innate” and “genetic determinism” are different measures. Identical twins studies are not unanimous, but they do show a concordance.

I think the evidence argument is a smokescreen anyway as Bachmann et al would likely disagree with your or my or BTB’s definition of “homosexual perference”.

Lymis

July 9th, 2011

” So who peer-reviewed the Bible?”

Umm… it is their contention that GOD wrote the Bible. By hand, in English, apparently.

Therefore, peer review would be impossible.

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