Republican candidate Newt Gingrich has “solemnly” vowed to defend traditional marriage if he’s elected president.
Gingrich sent a written statement to The Family Leader, a conservative group based in Iowa which produced a wide-ranging “Marriage Vow” pledge for the candidates this summer. Gingrich, who has been divorced twice, wrote that he would “uphold the institution of marriage” by being faithful to his third wife, Calista, and by respecting “the marital bonds of others.”
Gingrich also expressed support for an amendment to the U.S. constitution which would ban same-sex marriage.
Gingrich wrote that he believes “life begins at conception” and, as president, he would sign legislation to provide “greater protections for the unborn.”
By far the longest paragraph in the Gingrich statement, however, was a wide-ranging set of declarations about the federal court system. Gingrich said unelected federal judges had caused a “constitutional crisis” because, according to Gingrich, the public has lost confidence in the courts.
“Obviously, I think all of us wish he just would have signed our pledge,” Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of The Family Leader, told Radio Iowa this evening. “But when you read his pledge, it almost begs the question of, you know, ‘Why didn’t you sign our pledge?’ because (the Gingrich statement) is a very strong pledge as it relates to the sanctity of human life, God’s design for the family with one-man/one-woman marriage.”
The Family Leader’s board of directors will meet again this weekend to ponder endorsing a candidate.
“I think the board and myself are like many caucus-goers. We’re just like of up in the air yet,” Vander Plaats said. “…I think after Thursday night’s debate, we along with caucus-goers are going to have to make up our mind on which candidate we’re going to support.”
It is possible Vander Plaats will personally endorse a candidate if The Family Leader’s board of directors decides against endorsing. There has been speculation Vander Plaats was leaning toward supporting Gingrich, but Vander Plaats told Radio Iowa he is among the ranks of the undecided.
“If Darla and I were to caucus tonight, we’d first have to have a caucus in our living room to determine who we’re going to caucus for,” Vander Plaats said. Darla is Vander Plaats’s wife.
Gingrich helped Vander Plaats and his allies financially in 2010 in their successful effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who had ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.