Texas Gov. Rick Perry has become the latest candidate to sign a controversial “marriage vow” created by The Family Leader, an Iowa-based Christian group, according to the Des Moines Register.
By signing the pledge, Perry vowed to remain faithful to his wife and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, as well as agreeing that same sex marriage was akin to polygamy.
At the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines, Perry said he supported a federal marriage amendment to prohibit same sex marriage and prevent same sex couples from adopting children. Before deciding the run for president, he had said that same sex marriage should be left up to the states to decide for themselves.
“The fact is, we passed a constitutional amendment in the state of Texas that says marriage is between one man and one woman,” he explained in July. “Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. That’s their call.”
By signing the pledge, he also promised to ban “all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence” and only appoint conservative judges.
Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum have also accepted the document.
But most of the Republican presidential candidates have not. Newt Gingrich, Fred Karger, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain have so far all declined to sign the pledge.
Mitt Romney said the pledge was “undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign” and Gary Johnson described it as “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded.”
Adding to the controversy surrounding the pledge, the original version of the document signed by Bachmann and Santorum claimed that African American children were in some respects better off under slavery than they are today.
“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,” the document said.
The Family Leader has since removed the slavery language from the vow.