Perry signs Family Leader marriage pledge

Nov. 21, 2011 at 9:52 PM
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DES MOINES, Iowa, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry has become the latest Republican presidential candidate to sign a controversial marriage pledge, the pledge's sponsor said.

Julie Summa, a spokeswoman for the socially conservative group The Family Leader, based in Iowa, said Perry had signed the document electronically and submitted it without modifying it Monday, CNN reported.

Signers pledge to "solemnly vow to honor and cherish, to defend and uphold the institution of marriage as only between one man and one woman," to remain faithful to their spouses and to oppose any "redefinition" of marriage such as unions between same-sex couples. The document's signers also pledge to back a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution and appointment of "faithful constitutionalists" as judges.

Family Leader head Bob Vander Plaats has said only candidates who sign the pledge could receive the group's endorsement, much sought after by candidates hoping to capture the evangelical vote in the Iowa caucuses.

Two other GOP candidates -- Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum -- had signed the group's original pledge. It included language, since removed, stating a black born into slavery was "more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American president."

CNN said it's unclear whether Bachmann or Santorum saw the language on black children before signing.

Santorum later said he supported the decision to remove the language, and Bachmann's campaign said she believed slavery was "horrible."

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