Romney Refuses To Sign Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge [UPDATED]

Illustration for article titled Romney Refuses To Sign Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge [UPDATED]

Mitt Romney is refusing to sign a pledge that promises fidelity and rejection of gay marriage, abortion, pornography and Sharia law. His spokeswoman said he "strongly supports traditional marriage," but that the pledge "contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign."

Deets please! At the time Romney rivals Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed the pledge, it contained a wistful reference to African-American families during slavery, and implied that our first black president had something to do with the alleged iniquity of the black American family. But it was yanked after an outcry, so it's not that. Perhaps Mitt has a secret yen for Sharia law.

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The other candidates haven't signaled their intentions about the pledge, which would bring with it the endorsement of the preposterously-named, Iowa-based FAMiLY LEADER, unless you count Jon Huntsman refusing to sign any pledge, ever. The head of the group, Bob Vander Plaats, gave an interview with Salon, in which he explained his resistance to Sharia law:

Well, Sharia Islam — and I'm not an expert on Sharia Islam — but I think just in the brief knowledge [I have] of Sharia Islam, one, you can have multiple wives, and two is you can have temporary wives, and three is I think it disrespects women as a whole. And so we see Sharia Islam as being an issue.

Vander Plaat's respect for women, of course, is contingent on whether they buy the part of his pledge that consigns them to "robust childbearing."

Update: Tim Pawlenty has declined to sign too, saying, "I deeply respect, and share, Bob Vander Platts' commitment to promoting the sanctity of marriage, a culture of life, and the core principles of the Family Leader's Marriage Vow Pledge. However, rather than sign onto the words chosen by others, I prefer to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broken families through no fault of their own. I respectfully decline to sign the pledge."

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The Man Behind The Marriage Vow [Salon]
Romeny First Among GOP Field To Reject Christian Group's Gay Marriage Pledge [AP]
Earlier: Bachmann Not Pro-Slave Family, Still Pro Curing Gays
Bachmann Signs Anti-Porn Pledge Saying Blacks Were Better Off During Slavery

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DISCUSSION

VioletBaudelaire
Violet Baudelaire

Not to be all cynical on this fine Wednesday morning, but my guess would be Mitt's making a big deal out of refusing to sign this (and possibly refusing to sign it period) just because Michelle Bachmann did. This is a perfect opportunity for him to appear to be the reasonable and sensible candidate and separate himself out from the others and hop on the huge publicity wave Michelle has gotten out of this. As a political candidate, I'm sure they get 50 of this type of "pledge" a week sent to their desks by different groups and the vast majority are ignored.

I sincerely feel at this point that so little of what political candidates do actually comes from their own hearts and feelings and more from what will a) stir up news coverage and b) mesh with polls.