I grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting. My parents taught Sunday School, attended all of my baseball games, and to this day, I have never heard them publically argue. My mother was the cheerful one. She hugged me constantly and told me I could accomplish anything. My father was the sage advisor. He used every event, both positive and negative, to sit me down and impart little trinkets of wisdom. If I ever have kids, I will do everything in my power to raise them in an environment as close to what I had growing up as possible.

The first vote I ever cast was for a Republican. So were the second, third, fourth and fifth. I would stop short of calling my parents staunch conservatives, but they did raise me to believe men and women should work hard and rise and fall based on the merits of their own achievements. They taught me to believe a man should stand up for what he believes in, that he should keep his eyes focused on himself and the ones he loves and leave others to make their own choices, provided those choices weren't harming another human being. I still carry those lessons with me wherever I go, but it sickens me to realize the Republican Party no longer shares those viewpoints.

Over the past few days, The Family Leader's Marriage Vow: A Declaration Of Dependence Upon Marriage And Family has been racing around both the media and conservative power circles. In short, the document asks candidates to sign off on fourteen separate vows. These pledges are meant to represent the basic tenants of conservatism, of Republicanism, but to me, they're just overt reminders of why I can no longer in good conscience vote for at least half of Republican candidates. Don't get me wrong, I haven't defected. I have no plans on campaigning for Barack Obama, but I'll throw my vote away to a third party before I help anyone who signs this disgusting Marriage Vow. Thus far, that's only Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. Congratulations, assholes. You will receive no votes nor a single dime from me.

Here's a lengthy analysis of all fourteen points the candidate have been asked to sign off on and the reasons why they cause me so much grief…

1) Personal fidelity to my spouse.

Let the record show I have no problems with this whatsoever. Some of our greatest presidents have been habitual philanderers, but I still have no interest in casting a vote for someone who cheats on his or her significant other. If I can't trust a man with my girlfriend, I'm not trusting him with my vote.

2) Respect for marital bonds of others.

Once again, I'm on board with the Marriage Vow here. This isn't France. Dominique Strauss-Kahn may avoid jail time from his alleged sexual misconduct this time around, but that doesn't mean I haven't forgotten the fact that a married woman was caught on the security camera leaving his room before the maid even entered. In Con Air, Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom thwarted a potential rape by telling Johnny 23 if his dick jumped out of his pants, he was jumping out of the plane. If any candidate's dick jumps out of his pants in front of a married woman, he's lost my vote.

3) Official fidelity to the US Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constituents as judges or justices.

Am I misreading the inference of this vow or is it really implying judges who aren't “faithful” shouldn't be appointed to serve under the Federal Government? What the hell does “faithful” even mean? Judging by the footnote (“…some of whom have personally rejected heterosexuality and faithful monogamy…”), this little trinket is arguing homosexuals aren't fit to preside over district courts. That's both hateful and stupid. Call me crazy, but if I ever stand before a judge, I'm going to be a hell of a lot more concerned with his credentials than who he goes home to.

4)Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of marriage-faithful monogamy between one man and one woman-through statutory-bureaucratic, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.

I love how this one feels the need to include the word “vigorous”, as if an ordinary level of opposition just won't suffice. Let me tell you what I have vigorous opposition to: the government wasting its time imposing morality on other people. I'm not gay. I have no interest in ever marrying a dude, but if I found out my two neighbors were actually lesbians and wanted to get hitched, it wouldn't have the slightest effect on my life whatsoever. It wouldn't prevent me from going to work. It wouldn't interfere in my relationship. It wouldn't alter my personal life in the slightest, nor would it alter anyone else's apart from those two nice ladies.

5)Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that a children raised by a mother and father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble and less extramarital pregnancy.

Who the hell is arguing that, in an ideal situation, a child wouldn't have two loving parents? Obviously, kids who come from divorced and troubled home situations often have a harder time adjusting. That's common sense. It's like asking a candidate to endorse the fact that statistics show drug addicts get arrested and burn family bridges more often than their sober counterparts. The only real issue I have with this slice of obviousness is the clause “by a mother and a father together”. Is this advocating couples stay together for the kids or criticizing same-sex adoption? Call me crazy, but I'll take two committed homosexuals raising a child together over one single parent shirking his or her responsibilities. I'm aware of no studies whatsoever that show it's better for a child to be raised in a single parent home with an indifferent mother as opposed to a two parent, gay home with attentive caregivers.

6)Support of prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy and marital/ divorce law and extended “second chance” or “cooling off” periods for those seeking a “quickie divorce”.

Look: the divorce rate in this country is shameful. I don't like the fact that so many marriages implode. It makes me really sad and kind of sick to my stomach, but that doesn't mean it's the government's job to help work out these failed unions. If you're going to trust people to provide for themselves, oversee their own retirements and structure their own lives, then you've got to trust them to make their own family decisions. Yes, it sucks that people often throw their hands up after a few years and stop trying to work things out, but there's a lot of other things about people that suck to. It's just bad policy for Uncle Sam to get involved. If people want to fuck up their own personal lives, at the end of the day, that's on them. And for the record, there are some situations in which it's better for people to get the hell out of dodge immediately.

7) Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense Of Marriage Act at the federal and state levels.

Here's where this whole marriage argument loses me. People love to say that the government has no business defining what is or is not a marriage, but in actuality, they already have. The Defense Of Marriage Act was passed without much resistance in 1996 and signed into law by Bill Clinton. It emphatically states the federal government only considers marriages between one man and one woman as lawful and further says states are under no obligation to recognize same-sex unions authored by other states. The former President has since spoken against the Act he signed, as has Congressman Bob Barr who actually authorized the legislation. As of now, the Federal Government is no longer defending it from the numerous unconstitutional appeals, most of which are directed toward the one man and one woman part and not the who has to recognize marriage part.

8) Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the US Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all the United States.

What the hell happened to the concept of states' rights? I was raised to believe that the governments closest in proximity to the people always rule more effectively and efficiently, but apparently, some Republican candidates don't consider this balance of powers applicable when social issues are involved. This is just another example of tearing power away from the states and trying to impose uniformity on every inch of US soil.

9) Human protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy -our next generation of American children-from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stole innocence.

This is unbelievable. We want to waste government resources banning “all forms of pornography” now? I'm so sick and tired of so-called conservatives pretending like people aren't liable for their own choices. Do I think taking naked pictures is the most fruitful way to earn a living? Certainly not, but that's my viewpoint. If I have a daughter, it's up to me to explain to her why they might not be the best usage of her time and body. And don't even get me started on the line between art and pornography. What might be totally reasonable and non-pornographic to me might be highly offensive to someone else. You know what the solution to that is? If it offends you, don't buy it. Change the channel. Use your time for something more productive than sticking your nose up at what other people do. Also, I'm obviously opposed to human traffic and sexual slavery. Who isn't? Why is that clause even needed? Yes, I will only support candidates who aren't profiting off selling children to pedophiles.

10) Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried US Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender and opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusive intimate comingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc) plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.

There are two different issues here: one reasonable and one idiotic. Weeding out sexual harassment in the military is totally reasonable. Like anywhere else, soldiers should be able to work in a comfortable environment free of unwanted advances, regardless of whether those advances are from same or different gendered people. I'm fairly positive the military already has these measures in place, at least in theory, and those unwilling to follow that code are disciplined harshly. I encourage them to maintain these fail-safes, but at no point ever will I endorse the military erecting separate bathrooms, showers, barracks and tents for homosexuals. If there's no sexual harassment going on, how is this even an issue? Does anyone signing this pledge realize how much money putting up separate facilities would cost? And do they realize the stigma that would come with making homosexuals sleep in different quarters? Honestly, why not give them their own water fountains while we're at it. This clause in particular was obviously put forward by complete idiots who have never had any contact with homosexuals. What do you they think gay soldiers are sitting on the edges of their bed all day masturbating to other people sleeping? Give me a break.

11) Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-women, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.

Why does this clause feel the need to single out Sharia Islam? There are a lot of religions that denigrate women and refuse to uphold human rights. Yes, we're obviously all against treating women like second class citizens, and we're all against totalitarian control.

12) Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to US demographic, strategic, actuarial health and security.

Not just normal childbearing, robust childbearing. Let me tell you what I'm for. People having children who have the money, time and energy to properly raise those kids. That's my ideal qualification for child rearing. Whether that means someone has two kids or six, it doesn't matter to me. Just don't drain our economy if you can't support them. That being said, who's qualified to decide who's okay to have children? No one. As a result, people are free to be as robust in their procreation as they so choose, and that certainly won't change for the foreseeable future, regardless of whether candidates sign this document or not.

13) Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA's $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit and is $3.5 trillion federal budget.

Yes. This piece of shit document and I once again agree. We do need to reign in spending.

14) Fierce defense of the First Amendment's Rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom Of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.

Who the hell is persecuting heterosexuality or monogamy? I don't know anyone that's actively trying to weed out either of those values. I do know people who are fighting for the rights of other people, with different values, but never once have I heard any of them imply homosexual relationships are somehow superior to heterosexual ones. If you run a church and don't want gay dudes to get married inside of it, that's fine. The government will never force you to. Private citizens should be as free to be as bigoted as they want, provided they're not doing physical harm to others, but those rights this vow trumpets so strongly cut both ways. Polygamists don't undermine religious institutions. Neither do promiscuous women or homosexuals. You may think they undermine society, but that is an opinion. There are plenty of people who think those opposed to gay marriage are ruining society. It doesn't matter. None of us have the right to tell others how to run their personal lives.

The Marriage Vow is not only stupid, it's hateful, illogical and hypocritical. It pretends to defend the rights of some by pissing all over the rights of others. To be quite honest, it makes me want to throw up the contents of my fucking stomach. I want to vote for a Republican, but there's no way in hell I will support anyone affiliated with this garbage.

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