Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on Tuesday became the highest profile 2012 presidential candidate to reject an anti-gay marriage pledge, the AP reported.

The pledge, titled The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family, was introduced last week by the Iowa-based Christian conservative group The Family Leader. It asks presidential candidates to “vigorously” oppose marriage equality, be faithful to their 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 will not endorse any candidate that does not sign the pledge.

The group 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 group removed the passage, but not before two candidates signed: Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Both candidates virulently oppose gay rights.

(Related: Whoopi Goldberg rants on Michele Bachmann's signing of anti-gay marriage pledge.)

The Associated Press reported that Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney, said that while he “strongly supports traditional marriage,” the oath “contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign.”

The 14-point pledge also ironically asks candidates to have “Respect for the marital bonds of others,” and footnotes suggest that being gay is a choice that may have a negative impact on public health.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson over the weekend 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 'virtue.'”

Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah and U.S. ambassador to China, has declined to sign any pledge as part of his campaign.

Other candidates, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who spoke on Monday at a The Family Leader event in Iowa, and former Minnesota Government Tim Pawlenty, have not announced whether they'll sign the pledge.