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The controversial marriage pledge and its signers

by Adam Russett on July 13, 2011

Michele Bachmann recently made headlines when she signed the marriage pledge offered to her by a conservative Christian group from Iowa. Known as "The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family," the agreement requires all signers to promise that they will uphold a series of values – even in the White House, according to The New York Times.

The pledge states that each person who signs has to uphold marriage fidelity (which some think already disqualifies presidential hopeful and thrice-married Newt Gingrich), support the Defense of Marriage Act that makes it illegal for gays to marry, oppose abortion and protect women and children by acting against pornography. It was originally drafted by Christian group Family Leader, which is headed by former Iowa gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats.

For his part, frontrunner Mitt Romney has decided not to sign the pledge. His spokesman explained that Romney felt the bill was "inappropriate" for a presidential campaign. The move may draw ire from heavily conservative voters, but could also work to cut a more moderate path. That makes Rick Santorum and Bachmann the only two candidates who have thus far elected to put their names on the pledge. Newt Gingrich is said to be "reviewing" the agreement, according to The Des Moines Register.

"I don't ask you to in any sense to approve of any part of my life . . . Yes, I'm human and yes I have flaws but I've taken it very seriously and I’ve worked very hard with reconciliation with God and in seeking forgiveness," Gingrich said, the publication reports.

One has to wonder what other candidates will do when faced with the pledge, which could work to garner support among value voters, but isolate segments of more liberal or secular constituents.  

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