Michele Bachmann became the first presidential candidate to sign"The Marriage Vow" written by a conservative Christian group. The aim of the group is to protect monogamous Christian marriage as the only acceptable relationship, abolish the porn industry, deny the existence of homosexuality and generally regulate the personal lives of US Citizens. The group hopes to get all Republican candidates to sign the pledge.
We believe that all politicians, like all people, can rise to the occasion of our collective future and demand better leadership. As citizens of the United States of America, we wish to build a government that is focused on vital public infrastructure rather than on policing the private lives of our people.
While some presidential candidates are joining forces with fear-mongering factions of the political fringe, we think it is vital that our government focus on the pressing issues of health, education, economy and safety. Using unsubstantiated rhetoric to appeal to the separatist and supremacist tendencies of a few undermines the common interest of the many. Further, their attack on sexuality, and support of hetero-Christian marriage, is based on religion rather than fact, which is expressly forbidden in our constitution.
Perhaps most importantly, these persecutory tirades mask a fundamental ignorance of our political system, constitution, history and role in a complex international environment that is necessary to maintain a credible role on the international stage.
To that end, we would like citizens and politicians alike to adopt a code of ethical conduct that adheres to both our constitution and to an ideal of universal ethics that allows for diversity, peace and productivity for all.
All we are asking is for people, especially our elected officials, to agree to a discourse that is honest, compassionate and constitutional. We are not asking for agreement, or even understanding, simply an end to the ignorant persecution of private citizens in a country that purports to pride itself on diversity and freedom.
Our best and brightest leaders will be able to take the following vow. There are many in office now who we think live up to this simple standard.. As citizens of the United States, we would like candidates to take the following vow:
The Candidate Vow:
As an elected or appointed official, I am honored to serve my fellow citizens of the United States of America. We are a diverse country, and I vow to support our constitution and protect the health of our society and everyone in it. To that end, I vow to:
1. Live my personal life in accordance with the moral and ethical belief system that I have espoused in public. That means that I will be honest about my value system, even if it is different than some of the people that I work with, as doing so will support the diversity that makes us great.
2. Respect the relationship bonds and rights of others, even if they are different than my own. I understand that love and commitment are not dictated by genital configuration, skin color, religion, political affiliation or any other external factor. Love is a human value and right that rightfully belongs to all humans. People who are gay, bisexual, transgendered or polyamorous are all humans, as defined by DNA, which is universally recognized to be the factor that makes someone a human.
3. Vigorously defend the constitution, which means that I will enforce the separation of church and state. This gives me the right to passionately and publicly practice my religion, just as it does my neighbor. It also means that I cannot, as a public official, use my personal religion to define public laws that will restrict the personal freedoms of other Americans who have a different religious commitment.
4. Not use research and statistics sponsored by political or religious organizations that are pushing an agenda rather than research done by research professionals with no vested interest in the outcome.
5. Remember that there is overwhelming research showing that people who are marginalized because of their sexuality have increased risk of depression, addiction, suicide and societal violence. As someone with a sworn duty to protect the public interest, I will work to reduce shame, fear and marginalization on the basis of sexuality. I will work to further an open dialog about the full spectrum of human sexuality, even if some of it is stuff I don't want to see, much less do. It is my right to think that, but that does not give me the right to marginalize others.
6. Work to defend the definition of "family" by expanding it to include members of the LGBT community and their adopted children because I know that of the many factors that make a family functional, how the parents have sex is not one of them.
7. End the social stratification that elevates the value of married people above that of unmarried people, because I understand that all people are created equal, and they stay equal whether they get married or not.
8. Work harder to protect ALL people from human trafficking and all forms of sexual slavery, not just the people who happen to have been born to a married mother and father, because I am not someone who thinks that only people just like me deserve protection.
9. Strengthen the safeguards within our military that will protect all of our armed forces from unwanted sexual advances. I will work to promote an understanding of sexual violence in our military that will extend to how our troops interact with members of the communities in which we serve, at home or abroad.
10. Reject any political doctrine introduced into the US legislation that rejects any other religion simply on the basis of not being my religion.
11. Recognize that having more children is NOT the primary responsibility of a civil society. Rather, I will focus on creating a system of government in which all living citizens are safe and protected. Being born is not the primary right of citizens, and being sure that more babies are born is none of my business. Making sure those babies live in a safe society is my primary job.
12. Downsize the American government in order to address the $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities and $1.5 trillion deficit. I will do this by not creating legislation that will force the government to police the sex lives of private citizens. If I am interested in watching other people's sex lives, I will watch porn, which is the legally protected product of a multi-billion dollar industry that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country. Other than that, I will keep my politics and our government out of other people's sex lives.
13. Vigorously oppose any attempt to redefine fundamental freedoms like the freedom of speech, even if it means that people will say things I do not agree with, or make art that I do not enjoy. In this country, we are free to practice religion, sex and relationships however we wish. I, for one, will fight to protect the freedom of all Americans, even if they think differently than me. If it's legal and consensual, it's none of my business.