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Vander Plaats gives GOP candidates endorsement requirement
Vander Plaats, a socially conservative activist and CEO of The Family Leader, has introduced a pledge focusing on what his organization characterizes as “pro-family” values — particularly one-man, one-woman marriage, upholding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and supporting justices who hold the same beliefs.
The Marriage Vow pledge also outlines, “humane efforts to protect women and children, rejection of anti-women Sharia Islam, safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. military personnel, and commitment to downsizing government and the burden upon American families,” according to a release from The Family Leader.
Presidential candidates who want Vander Plaats’ and The Family Leader’s endorsement must sign it, he said.
“The Family Leader views this pledge as an important component needed to inform constituents about the personal stand that each presidential candidate takes regarding marriage,” Vander Plaats said. “We believe that the candidates’ positions on core values, such as marriage, correlate directly to his/her moral stances on energy issues, sound budgeting policies, national defense, and economic policies.”
Vander Plaats, of Sioux City, has had three unsuccessful runs for Governor of Iowa; however, he was influential in a November 2010 judicial retention vote in which three Iowa Supreme Court justices were ousted from the bench, including Chief Justice Marsha Ternus. The trio were part of an unanimous ruling found a legislative ban on same-sex marriage to be a violation of the state’s equal protection clause.
Though Vander Plaats is not an elected official, nor has ever been one, his endorsement carries weight in the national political arena. “The Hill” writer Michael O’Brien listed Vander Plaats as one of the top 10 political endorsements for a Republican candidate, alongside former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
A copy of “The Marriage Vow” is included below: