Pawlenty Signs NOM's Marriage Pledge After All

BY Lucas Grindley

August 05 2011 5:30 PM ET

 The coalition of Republican candidates signing on with the National Organization for Marriage has just grown by one with the addition of Tim Pawlenty.

The former Minnesota governor had originally appeared to skip the anti–gay marriage pledge, with The Wall Street Journal  reporting that he preferred to use his own words rather than sign pledges. But if Pawlenty suddenly changed his mind after NOM singled him out for criticism, he's not copping to the flip-flop.

"They had a deadline that we couldn't meet because of the governor's travel schedule, so we told them that," a spokesman for Pawlenty told  Politico. "When the governor reviewed it, he wanted to sign it and we told the group that, even though their deadline had passed."

Pawlenty now joins Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney in signing the pledge. The only gay candidate for the nomination, Fred Karger, said they've opted to associate the presidency with a shady group.

"I feel that it is not appropriate for candidates for president of the United States to sign a pledge sponsored by any special interest group, especially one by the National Organization for Marriage," he told The Advocate. "NOM has been under active investigation by the state of Maine Ethics Commission for money laundering for over 22 months. If anything, Mitt Romney should denounce NOM and for all its secretive, underhanded, and despicable activities."

The four candidates have now signed up for a lengthy antigay to-do list. They promise to support amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage, nominate judges who say the Constitution doesn't guarantee marriage equality, put marriage up to a vote in the District of Columbia, mount a defense for the Defense of Marriage Act, and to create a mysterious "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 with words or donations.









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