By JILLIAN RAYFIELD
Before you can join the Laurens County Republican Party in South Carolina and get on the primary ballot, they ask that you pledge that you’ve never ever had pre-marital sex — and that you will never ever look at porn again.
Last Tuesday, the LCGOP unanimously adopted a resolution that would ask all candidates who want to get on the primary ballot to sign a pledge with 28 principles, because the party “does not want to associate with candidates who do not act and speak in a manner that is consistent with the SC Republican Party Platform.”
Among the principles, according to Vic MacDonald & Larry Franklin of theClinton Chronicle, is standard fare like opposition to abortion and upholding gun rights, as well as “a compassionate and moral approach to Teen Pregnancy” and “a high regard for United States Sovereignty.”
But then they get even more specific. From the Chronicle:
You must favor, and live up to, abstinence before marriage.You must be faithful to your spouse. Your spouse cannot be a person of the same gender, and you are not allowed to favor any government action that would allow for civil unions of people of the same sex.
You cannot now, from the moment you sign this pledge, look at pornography.
It is unclear how they will precisely determine this (or regulate it), but an unidentified potential candidate for office in Laurens County told the Chronicle that candidates will be interviewed by a three-person subcommittee, who will then recommend to the full executive committee whether to allow the candidate on the ballot.
Bobby Smith, who chairs the Laurens County Republican Party, explained that “people feel the platform has not been adhered to. We want candidates to believe in and uphold the party’s platform.”
Though at first the resolution would have required candidates to sign the pledge, Smithclarified in a statement Monday that “due to various legal issues” the LCGOP cannot require that the candidates sign the pledge if they meet all of the other qualifications for a run. But, he said, the committee “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. However, no candidate will be denied access to the Republican Party primary ballot for refusing to sign the pledge.”
State GOP chairman Chad Connelly told the Chronicle that he doesn’t necessarily oppose the idea. “If we are wearing the same uniform I want to be sure we are kicking the ball toward the same goal, or are you moving against me.”