Three Republican presidential candidates have now refused to sign “The Marriage Vow.” “The Marriage Vow” is a document created by a group of Christian conservatives.
Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader says the intent is to highlight the country’s marriage crisis, but other issues tacked onto the pledge have sparked attention, like a section with a slavery reference that has been removed. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has issued a statement, saying he “strongly supports traditional marriage,” but finds parts of The Family Leader’s document “undignified and inappropriate.”
Another candidate, Tim Pawlenty, issued a statement saying he has “deep respect” for the “sanctity” of traditional marriage, but Pawlenty declined to sign The Marriage Vow as his way of showing “compassion to those who are in broken families through no fault of their own.”
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, another candidate for the presidency, last week called The Vow “offensive” and the kind of document that “gives Republicans a bad name.” On Monday, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich hasn’t signed the pledge either, but said during an event sponsored by The Family Leader that he would suggest some edits before he’d sign it.
Candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed onto The Marriage Vow last week. Comedian Stephen Colbert mocked the document last night during his Comedy Central show.
Vander Plaats says critics of The Family Leader are “distorting the facts and misrepresenting” the vow. He says having presidential candidates sign the pledge “will provide Americans with evidence of a higher standard and model” that will strengthen marriages and families.