Opinion: Michele Bachmann signs anti-gay pact that says times were better for black kids during slavery


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Michele Bachmann signed a controversial pact Thursday that is anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-pornography, and floats the curious notion that African American children were better off during slavery than they are under the Obama administration.

The pledge was drawn up by Bob Vander Plaats, a man who ran for governor of Iowa in 2010 and lost in the Republican primary despite the benefit of an endorsement from Internet legend Chuck Norris. Vander Plaats also sought the high office in Iowa in 2002 and 2006 (as Jim Nussle’s running mate) but voters gave him the thumbs down.

Somehow he fancies himself a kingmaker and is hoping that other GOP politicians, desperate to appear so-conservative-it-hurts will sign his pledge [.pdf] titled ‘The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMILY.’

The manifesto is ripe with anti-gay paranoia written by the man who once said, ‘If we’re teaching the kids, ‘don’t smoke, because that’s a risky health style,’ the same can be true of the homosexual lifestyle.’


But the strangest nugget in the pact that the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota signed was one that hearkens back to the good old days when slavery was legal, meaning that black kids had the priceless benefit of having a traditional home.

‘Slavery had a disastrous impact on African American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African American president,’ the vow states in a bullet-point. Cheryl Contee of the Jack & Jill political blog explains some of the errors in that portion of the vow.

‘Given that families were broken up regularly for sales during slavery and that rape by masters was pretty common, this could not be more offensive,’ Contree wrote.

‘When will Republicans inquire with actual black people whether or not we’re ok with invoking slavery to score cheap political points? It has to stop. It is the opposite of persuasive and is another reason Republicans repel us. It’s hard to believe that Michele Bachmann would be foolish enough to sign this pledge,’ Contree complained.

Vander Plaats says his group, the Family Leader, will not support any candidate who declines to sign the pledge, which means former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman won’t be getting their support since Huntsman never signs pledges, according to the Des Moines Register. The paper also reported that a spokesman for Texas representative Ron Paul said the congressman has reservations about the pact.

Bachmann is no stranger to anti-gay rhetoric. Her strategist-husband last year said homosexuals were barbarians who need to be disciplined.

‘We have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps,’ Marcus Bachmann said as a guest on the Christian-based ‘Point of View’ radio talk show May 12, 2010.


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-- Tony Pierce

Andrew Malcolm is on assignment