Rick Perry's campaign for president has barely begun, but he apparently didn't need long to decide whether to sign an antigay pledge from the National Organization for Marriage.
The Texas governor, who polls show is the race's new front-runner, today joined not only Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum but also former front-runner Mitt Romney by aligning himself with NOM.
"Kudos to Gov. Rick Perry for making it clear: he's a marriage champion!" cheered Brian Brown, president of NOM, in a statement. "The purpose of NOM's Marriage Pledge is to move from vague values statements to concrete actions to protect marriage."
The NOM presidential to-do list includes amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage, nominating judges who say the Constitution doesn't guarantee marriage equality, and putting gay marriage up to a vote in the District of Columbia, where local lawmakers made it legal. Perry and the others also promise to fight for the Defense of Marriage Act in court — something President Obama isn't doing.
By adding his name to the NOM pledge, Perry has also committed to create a "presidential commission on religious liberty" that would "investigate" Americans who oppose bans on gay marriage for supposed harassment of such measures' supporters.
That Perry signed shouldn't be a surprise given his history, which includes hosting a prayer rally with a "hate group" (as listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center) and comparing homosexuality to alcoholism in his book On My Honor.
"Perry makes crystal clear that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, gay marriage is going to be a bigger issue in 2012 than it was in 2008," said Brown, "because the difference between the GOP nominee and Pres. Obama is going to be large and clear."