Gus Kenworthy
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Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum Sign Antigay Pledge With Who's Who of Wingnuts

Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum Sign Antigay Pledge With Who's Who of Wingnuts

Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are the only two Republican presidential candidates who have signed on to a pledge condemning same-sex parents and marriage equality, authored by the Texas pastor who recently promised to burn himself alive if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, according to U.K. LGBT outlet Pink News.

Republican presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum both signed on to the ever-growing "pledge in solidarity to defend marriage," which claims that "marriage as existing solely between one man and one woman precedes civil government."

The pledge, first reported by The Advocate June 15, goes on to (inaccurately) claim that "no civil institution, including the United States Supreme Court or any court, has authority to redefine marriage." That's an argument both Huckabee and Santorum have advanced with increasing frequency as the high court nears a decision that could bring marriage equality to all 50 states by the end of the month. 

Claiming that legal marriage equality "sends the message that children do not need a mother and a father," the pledge rejects overwhelming scientific data to the contrary to conclude that "authorizing the legal equivalency of marriage to same-sex couples undermines the fundamental rights of children and threatens their security, stability, and future."

Ending by reiterating Huckabee's recent comparison of a pro-equality ruling from the Supreme Court to the 1887 Dred Scott decision by the high court, which ruled that African-Americans could not be citizens of the U.S., the pledge promises to view "any decision by the Supreme Court or any court the same way history views the Dred Scott" decision. 

"As people of faith we pledge obedience to our Creator when the State directly conflicts with higher law," concludes the pledge. "We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross this line."

The pastor behind the pledge is Rick Scarborough, who made headlines earlier this month with a full-page newspaper ad announcing the pledge and boasting that he had at least 44,500 followers ready to go to jail to defend so-called traditional marriage. Just a day after that ad came out, on a right-wing conference call hosted by anti-LGBT preacher E.W. Jackson June 16, Scarborough said he was ready to light himself aflame in the wake of a pro-equality Supreme Court ruling, to "get out in front" of what he sees as a movement to secure "the complete destruction of the church of the Lord Jesus." 

Other "key signers" on the pledge include Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who created the family at the center of the TLC's reality show 19 Kids & Counting, since placed on hiatus amid revelations that the couple's oldest son, Josh, molested several young girls, including his sisters, when he was a teenager. The lengthy list of signatories ultimately reads like a who's who of antigay activists, including some leaders of designated anti-LGBT hate groups like Tim WIldmon and his father, Don Wildmon, president and founder, respectively, of the American Family Association, and Mathew Staver, president of designated hate group Liberty Counsel.

Among the pledge's now more than 54,500 signatories are also James Dobson, the founder and former president of Focus on the Family, who now serves as the president of Family Talk Action and this year said he believes bisexuality is about "orgies"; Alveda King, a niece of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, who has become an outspoken opponent to LGBT equality; Penny Nance, the president and CEO of designated antigay hate group Concerned Women for America; David and Jason Benham, the twin brothers and real estate dealers who saw their pending reality show on HGTV canceled when their extreme antigay views became known; Bradlee Dean, a radio host and right-wing preacher whose lawsuit against Rachel Maddow resulted in him having to pay the out MSNBC anchor $25,000; and Linda Harvey, president of Mission America, who recently claimed out trans actress Laverne Cox is "in league with Satan."

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