Rick Perry this week signed a pledge to
oppose gay marriage, but a majority of the GOP presidential
candidates have yet to join in.
On Friday, Perry, the current governor
of Texas, joined Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former Pennsylvania Senator
Rick Santorum in signing the National Organization for Marriage's
(NOM) promise to oppose gay marriage.
group released a copy of the document signed by Perry on Saturday.
Candidates who sign NOM's 5-point
pledge promise to support a federal constitutional amendment banning
gay marriage, defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court,
appoint judges and an attorney general who will “respect the
original meaning of the Constitution,” appoint a presidential
commission to investigate the “harassment of traditional marriage
supporters,” and back legislation that would allow a ballot
question on the issue for voters of the District of Columbia.
Perry had previously angered social
conservatives by saying he was “fine” with New York's recent
approval of marriage equality, because the 10th Amendment
gives states the right to decide on the issue.
His new promise has prompted analysts
to say Perry has retreated on federalism.
NOM cheered their victory. “Together,
we are showing that support for marriage is a winning position for a
presidential candidate,” NOM President Brian Brown said in a blog
While the race's front-runners have
embraced the pledge, the majority of the GOP field, which is nearly
uniformly opposed to marriage equality, has not. Fred Karger, who is
openly gay, is the only candidate who supports the institution.
Two major candidates – former House
Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain –
have yet to comment on the pledge.
NOM Chairwoman Maggie Gallagher
recently jeered Cain for his pass.
“President Obama claimed he supported
traditional marriage but then failed to follow through. If Herman
Cain wants to distinguish his position from President Obama, he
should commit to concrete actions, not just rhetoric in support of
marriage,” she said in a blog post.