Will Republican Presidential candidates take a pledge to permit anti-gay discrimination?

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Republican Presidential candidates have been challenged to pledge to re-ban same-sex marriage, ban teaching about same-sex marriage in schools, and permit discrimination against same-sex couples.

Ahead of the 2016 Presidential election, 12 Republican candidates have thrown their hat into the ring – Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Lindsay Graham and Rick Santorum.

Most of the field are on the record opposing LGBT rights – with Carson, Cruz, Huckabee, Paul, Perry and Santorum all extreme opponents known for anti-gay comments – while nearly the entire field opposes same-sex marriage.

However, ahead of the campaign, anti-gay group NOM has challenged the field to go even further – asking them to sign a pledge committing to a number of anti-LGBT policies.

The group wants candidates to support a new constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman – potentially voiding thousands of existing same-sex weddings.

It is also asking them to “prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools” – effectively de-facto banning teachings about same-sex marriage or same-sex couples.

The group also wants them to protect “the right of organisations and individuals” who disagree with same-sex marriage – permitting discrimination against same-sex couples.

The pledge, which has not yet been signed by any of the candidates, states:

I, _____________ _____________, pledge to the American people that if elected President, I will:

One, support a federal constitutional amendment that protects marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Two, oppose and work to overturn any Supreme Court decision that illegitimately finds a constitutional “right” to the redefinition of marriage. This includes nominating to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, and appointing an attorney general similarly committed.

Three, 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. Consistent with this, prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities.

Four, support the First Amendment Defense Act and other legislation that recognizes 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.

Five, direct the Department of Justice 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.