Romney Sides With Bachmann and Santorum on Marriage Pledge

BY Lucas Grindley

August 04 2011 2:25 PM ET

Mitt Romney has thrown his name in the mix with Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, who all signed pledges today that are sponsored by the antigay National Organization for Marriage.

The three have now promised to not only support amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage but also to nominate judges who say the Constitution doesn't guarantee marriage equality.

The to-do list doesn't stop there. As part of the pledge, they swear to put gay marriage up to a vote in the District of Columbia, where local lawmakers made it legal. They promise to fight for the Defense of Marriage Act in court — something President Barack Obama isn't doing.

In the most cryptic of the promises, the candidates for the GOP nomination say that if they are elected, they will create a "presidential commission on religious liberty." The commission would "investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened" for supporting gay marriage bans in speech or in donations. The commission might even "propose new protections" for those who are against same-sex marriage.

Not signing the pledge was former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who lags significantly in polls behind Bachmann and Romney. Pawlenty also refused to sign a pledge by the Iowa Family Leader, which required that candidates believe gay men are a public health risk, that gay parents are inferior to straight parents, and that homosexuality is a choice. Although Pawlenty is against gay marriage, he'd rather use his own words on the issues than sign a pledge, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Romney said the Family Leader pledge was "undignified and inappropriate" but didn't explain what he disliked. The pledge also made references to candidate's personal fidelity to their spouse, among other things. Only Bachmann and Santorum have signed both pledges.









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