National Organization for Marriage only musters four signatures for marriage equality repeal pledge

Shortly following the Supreme Court’s decision to make marriage equality the law of the land, the National Organization for Marriage announced its plan to throw the 2016 election for Democrats by getting as many Republican candidates as they could to pledge to overturn the decision.

Turns out, the Republican field isn’t playing along.

The organization, which is going broke amid a series of stinging defeats at home and abroad, was only able to get four candidates to sign their pledge to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision: Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and Ben Carson. According to The New Civil Rights Movement, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker and Lindsey Graham have said that they aren’t signing any pledges this year.

Either way, this means that the organization went to the entire Republican field hawking an anti-gay pledge, and over half the field — including almost all of the top-tier candidates — ignored them. Which is awesome. And pretty awkward. As I wrote when they announced their pledge:

NOM co-founder Brian Brown, via Wikimedia Commons

NOM co-founder Brian Brown, via Wikimedia Commons

This kind of pledge would have been relatively noncontroversial in GOP circles in, say, 2004, when George Bush rode state-level anti-marriage amendments to re-election and used them as a springboard to try (and fail) to pass a national version. But even today’s Republican Party, which is fifty shades of crazy, is split on the idea of banning same-sex marriage. And I can’t wait for Jeb Bush to politely, and awkwardly, tell NOM that they can take their pledge and know it in the Biblical sense — all while reminding everyone how awful his brother was. At least, that’s what he’d do if he were the smart one in the family…

…Of course, there are plenty of GOP candidates who are going to be more than happy to sign on to NOM’s pledge. They just aren’t the candidates who take their chances of winning the White House seriously. Everyone’s reading the same polls, but not everyone’s doing the same market research. And Ben Carson knows that he has no shot at winning but a great shot at parlaying his candidacy into a massive pile of money. Being rabidly anti-gay makes that pile bigger, not smaller.

So three cheers for the National Organization for Marriage fading into irrelevance. The Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling led to a number of pro-marriage equality groups willingly, and happily, shutting down because the fight was over; they’d won. The National Organization for Marriage is dying a slower, more painful death. Being ignored by the Republican field is just the latest, sweetest nail in their coffin.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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