The National Organization for Marriage on Tuesday announced that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and neurosurgeon Ben Carson pledged to “oppose and work to overturn any Supreme Court decision that illegitimately finds a constitutional ‘right’ to the redefinition of marriage.”
The candidates pledged to support efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman and “conduct a review of regulatory, administrative and executive actions taken by the current administration that have the effect of undermining marriage and work to restore our policies to be consistent with the proper understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” They also vowed to support measures that recognize “the right of organizations and individuals to act in the public square consistent with their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman without fear of retaliation from the government.”
The pledge also calls upon presidential candidates to direct the Justice Department “to investigate, document and publicize cases 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.”
“Electing a president in 2016 who is a true champion on marriage is a critical priority,” said NOM President Brian Brown in a statement. “While many of the GOP candidates talk the talk about supporting marriage, these four candidates have distinguished themselves as true champions, having pledged to the American people to take very specific actions to advance the cause of marriage.”
Brandon Lorenz, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, dismissed the NOM pledge.
“This says a lot more about the relevance of NOM than the true positions of the candidates, who have all made clear they do not support marriage equality,” said Lorenz.
Brown said NOM has asked the other presidential candidates to sign their pledge.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee earlier this year said he will “stand for the institution of marriage and vigorously oppose any redefinition.” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker supports defining marriage in the U.S. Constitution as between a man and a woman.
On the Democratic side; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) all back marriage rights for same-sex couples.