POLITICS
08/22/2013 02:12 pm ET Updated Aug 22, 2013

Alabama GOP Candidate Wants His Opponents To Promise They're Anti-Gay, Religious Enough

Alabama Republican Dean Young, a candidate for the congressional seat of retiring Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), is not a fan of gay rights. So, in an effort to make opposition to gay marriage a key issue in the crowded GOP primary race, Young unveiled a pledge this week asking his opponents to affirm their religious faith and opposition to LGBT rights.

"It is time for men and women of faith to stand for the founding Christian values and morals that made our nation great, to defend our families and the sacred holiness of marriage," Young writes in the pledge. He then asks his opponents to sign the document, which contains six points, including the following:

  • "I believe the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality and thereby gay marriage."
  • "The tenants [sic] of my church oppose gay marriage."
  • "As a member of Congress, I shall take active steps to oppose gay marriage."

As Think Progress notes, the proposed push to make candidates affirm their membership to a church appears to run counter to the spirit of the state constitution, which prohibits "religious tests" as a qualification for public office.

But the broader anti-gay nature of the pledge isn't surprising coming from Young. In an interview with Alabama's WPMI, Young said he opposed gay couples "pretending like they’re married."

"If you want to have homosexuals pretending like they’re married, then go to the Democrat party," he continued, before blasting "weak and spineless” Republicans who wouldn't openly and proudly voice their opposition LGBT rights.

Young's pledge also calls for his Republican opponents to support a proposed change to the Alabama GOP's by-laws, which would allow for the party to expel any member of its steering committee who expresses support for same-sex marriage. As AL.com reported last week, the issue has exposed a rift in the state's Republicans, between older, anti-gay conservatives and younger members of the party, who tend to be more supportive of gay rights.

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