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'Purity Pledge' Blocked

An effort to force political candidates to sign a 'purity pledge' promising that they have never had premarital sex or watched pornography has been declared illegal by South Carolina Republicans.

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A push for a "purity pledge" by local South Carolina Republicans, which would require that all GOP candidates seeking a nomination promise that they have never had premarital sex or watched pornography, has been shut down by the state's Republican politicians, Slate reported.

The pledge was approved by Laurens' county Republicans on February 28 in anticipation of the state's June 12 primary, South Carolina newspaper The State reported on Tuesday.

The 28-point pledge also requires candidates to oppose abortion, fight gun control, and not favor any government action to allow civil unions by same-sex couples, according to The State.

The Laurens County pledge also proposed the creation of a committee that would screen potential candidates based on whether they adhered to the promises, the Associated Press reported. The committee would have the power to disqualify a candidate from running as a Republican, which the state GOP deemed illegal.

"We don't condone that. State law allows anyone on the ballot who meets the qualifications in the law," said state GOP executive director Matt Moore, the AP reported.

"The purpose of the resolution was to try to ensure that candidates who wish to file to run on the ticket simply support the party's platform," Laurens County Republican Party Chairman Bobby Smith told UPI. "Our party has had much success over the past few years, and we want to make sure they uphold the party's principles if running on the party's ticket."

The county issued a statement on Monday saying that they would not bar any candidates from running under South Carolina state law.

Democrats were amused by their Republican counterparts' "purity pledge" debacle.

“It’s absolutely absurd,” Phil Bailey, director of the state Senate Democratic Caucus, told The State. “While the rest of the country is living in the 21st century, South Carolina Republicans are stuck in a social time machine.”