In a move that instantly outclasses GOP competitors Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has announced he will not sign the conservative Iowa Christian group’s pledge opposing, among other things, marriage equality.
The Family Leader’s “pledge” calls on conservative candidates to oppose marriage equality, pornography, open service in the military and forms of Islamic law.
While Bachmann and Santorum raced each other to be early signers, Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney, told The Associated Press in a written statement Tuesday that Romney “strongly supports traditional marriage,” but that the oath “contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign.”
Romney, however, supported marriage equality in Massachusetts.
While I’m certainly no Republican, I can honestly applaud Romney for taking the high road on this issue.
The Family Leader, formed last year by Iowa conservative Bob Vander Plaat,s to position itself to be influential in the 2012 Iowa caucuses, said they stand by their anti-gay positions.
In addition to Romney, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is not campaigning in Iowa, citing his past opposition to farm subsidies, although he also supported rights for same-sex couples as governor of Utah. According to campaign aides, Huntsman has said he will not sign any pledges as part of his campaign.
And former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson blasted the pledge over the weekend, calling it “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded.”