Tim Pawlenty is the newest Republican presidential candidate to refuse to sign an Iowa religious right group’s “Marriage Vow” pledge — but he’s being really nice about it.
“I deeply respect, and share, Bob Vander Platts’ commitment to promoting the sanctity of marriage, a culture of life, and the core principles of the Family Leader’s Marriage Vow Pledge,” Pawlenty said in a statement. “However, rather than sign onto the words chosen by others, I prefer to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broken families through no fault of their own.”
The “Marriage Vow” involved a candidate pledging personal fidelity to his or her spouse, that he or she would change divorce laws to make “quickie divorces” more difficult, and would oppose gay marriage, pornography, and “Sharia Islam,” among other things. Two Republican candidates, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, signed the pledge, and then immediately encountered controversy due to the resolution’s original preamble language on slavery — which has since been edited out — stating, quite contrary to the facts, that African-American families were more secure under slavery than they are today, under an African-American president.Mitt Romney has declined to sign the pledge, and his campaign excoriated it as containing “references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign.”
Another candidate, Newt Gingrich, is declining to sign the pledge for now — instead wanting to work with the group to clarify other language in the pledge.
Here is Pawlenty’s full statement:
“Mary and I have been married for almost 24 years and have been blessed with two wonderful daughters. In all we do, we remain committed to our core values that are set out in scripture. We are saved by grace. As Christians we are to speak the truth, but to do so with love.
“Voters have a right to know about their leaders’ faith and values, and how those beliefs may shape their decisions. To that end, today my campaign released a new video in which both Mary and I speak directly and openly about our faith. I fully support traditional marriage. Unequivocally. The traditional family faces enormous challenges in America, and if elected I would vigorously oppose any effort to redefine marriage as anything other than between one man and one woman.
“I deeply respect, and share, Bob Vander Platts’ commitment to promoting the sanctity of marriage, a culture of life, and the core principles of the Family Leader’s Marriage Vow Pledge. However, rather than sign onto the words chosen by others, I prefer to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broken families through no fault of their own.
“I respectfully decline to sign the pledge.”