Rick Perry on Monday became the latest
GOP candidate to sign The Family Leader's anti-gay marriage pledge,
Moines Register reported.
Perry joins Minnesota Representative
Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in
signing the Iowa-based Christian conservative group's controversial
The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and
Family, which was first unveiled in July.
The move comes two days after Perry
joined five other candidates at a Family Leader forum in Iowa.
Perry reiterates support for gay marriage ban, opposition to gay
The pledge asks presidential candidates
to “vigorously” oppose marriage equality, be faithful to his or
her own spouse, vow to protect women and children from pornography
and reject Sharia law because it is a “form of totalitarian
control.” The group, influential among social conservatives, has
said it would not endorse any candidate that does not sign the
The Family Leader, which is headed by
Bob Vander Plaats, drew heated criticism for including the passage
that an African-America baby born into slavery in 1860 was more
likely to be raised in a two-parent household than after the nation
elected its first African-American president. The passage was
removed, but not before Bachmann and Santorum endorsed the two-page
The 14-point pledge also ironically
asks candidates to have “Respect for the marital bonds of others,”
and footnotes in it suggest that being gay is a choice that may have
a negative impact on public health.
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
called the pledge “offensive and unRepublican” and “nothing
short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a
personal choice that doesn't fit into a particular definition of
GOP strategists Doug Gross described
Perry's move as a late in the game Hail Mary pass.
“This one probably won't work since
he is appealing to the same voters as are a number of the other
candidates when he should be focusing on a core group who don't want
Romney and have no where else to go,” Gross told the Register.