Pledge Of Allegiance of the Day: The Republican Party of Laurens County, South Carolina, last week unanimously passed a resolution requiring members who wish to run for public office to sign a pledge affirming that they were abstinent before marriage, that they are and will continue to be faithful to their spouse, that they are neither homosexual nor in favor of equal rights for same-sex couples, and that they will never again look at pornography.
The so-called “Resolution of The Laurens County Republican Party regarding The Qualifications of Candidates for the Primary Ballot” was approved by all 13 present members of the party’s executive committee at a meeting held last Tuesday.
An unidentified candidate who was present at the meeting said he was “puzzled” by the resolution, but the committee members refused to answer questions following the vote.
According to an unofficial report, a subcommittee consisting of three members will be responsible for ensuring that candidates meet the required criteria. It remained unclear how the party intended to “hold into account” candidates who ran afoul of the pledge.
Reached for comment, Laurens County Republican Party chairman Bobby Smith said the move was necessary to protect the party’s reputation.
"The party has been pushing for closed primaries," Smith told the Clinton Chronicle. “People feel the platform has not been adhered to. We want candidates to believe in and uphold the party’s platform.”
The chairman released a statement today saying that, “due to various legal issues,” the party would not be allowed to force potential candidates who have met state qualifications to sign the pledge. However, the party “reserves the right to vet its candidates and will encourage all candidates to uphold the principles of the party’s platform as well as petition candidates to sign a pledge to do so.”
[chronicle / wlbg / tpm.]