Rick Santorum ‘taken aback’ but ‘certainly comfortable’ signing anti-gay pledge

Rick Santorum LGBTQ Nation

Rick Santorum

No surprise here — GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is on board with the anti-gay pledge that requires candidates to be faithful to their spouses, and “vigorously oppose” same-sex unions.

“The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family,” is the creation of “The Family Leader,” an Iowa-based conservative Christian group, and its CEO, Bob Vander Plaats.

The pledge which includes 14 bullet points that signers must agree to, including opposition to any “redefinition of marriage,” also likens same-sex couples to polygamists and adulterers, and states that homosexuality is both a choice and a health risk.

Santorum, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, said initially he was “taken aback” by the pledge, but that he “certainly felt comfortable signing it.”

Santorum is not alone in his support of the pledge. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), also seeking the GOP nomination, was the first to sign it, doing so on Thursday only hours after the pledge was introduced.

The pledge also included what critics have described as “pro-slavery” language. Its preamble included this passage:

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 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.”

But on Saturday, amid growing questions aimed at Bachmann, Family Leader officials said they’d removed the slavery language.

The Family Leader is a conservative traditional values organization headed by Iowa Republican homophobe Bob Vander Plaats, leader of the effort that resulted in the voter recall of three Iowa supreme court justices last November.

“We believe that the candidates’ positions on core values, such as marriage, correlate directly to his/her moral stances on energy issues, sound budgeting policies, national defense, and economic policies,” Vander Plaats said in a statement.

Vander Plaats says the vow of marriage fidelity doesn’t apply to past behavior, but only looking forward.

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