Pawlenty won’t sign marriage pledge

WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty have more in common than just being former Republican governors now running for president: both won’t sign a pledge from the Iowa evangelical group Family Leader.

In a statement this afternoon, Pawlenty pointed to his own marriage and his opposition to same-sex marriage but said, “rather than sign onto the words chosen by others, I prefer to choose my own words.”

Rival candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, has signed the pledge, which includes a requirement that candidates vow fidelity to their spouses, condemn gay marriage, abortion and pornography and pledge to reduce the size of government. Former Sen. Rick Santorum has also signed the pledge but Mitt Romney declined, calling the document “undignified.”

The Family Leader’s pledge came under criticism because it stated that black families had been more cohesive under slavery than they are today. The organization is led by an influential Iowa evangelical, Bob Vander Platts, who helped Mike Huckabee organize his 2008 victory in the Iowa caucus.

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