Upcoming DeMint presidential forum co-chaired by NOM founder
The GOP presidential forum Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will host in Columbia, S.C., on Labor Day will be co-hosted by the original founding chair of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which since the successful Proposition 8 campaign of 2008 in California, has raised and spent millions of dollars to ban same-sex marriage in states that have attempted to legalize it.
Candidates slated to attend the The American Principles Project’s “Palmetto Freedom Forum” include Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. The three panelists doling out questions to the candidates will be DeMint, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Robert George, who is chair emeritus of NOM. George is also the founder of APP.
NOM has already attempted to influence the 2012 presidential election by asking GOP candidates to sign a pledge promising to oppose marriage for gay and lesbian couples on a federal level. Perry is the most recent candidate to sign NOM’s marriage pledge, joining Bachmann, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has recently made headlines for opting out of the forum.
Cain, meanwhile, has been attacked by NOM for not signing the five-point pledge, which makes candidates promise to
- Support a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage,
- Nominate federal judges that “reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution,”
- Defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “vigorously in court,”
- Establish a presidential commission to investigate reports of Americans who have been “harassed or threatened” for supporting ant-gay-marriage initiatives, and
- Try to ban same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia, which is currently legal.
Though a lot of the publicity is being associated with DeMint, George and King will also shape the debate. The stated intention of the forum is “to engage candidates in a fair and meaningful way instead of forcing sound-bite answers to complex issues.”