Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed a pledge written by an Iowa-based Christian activist group that calls for limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman, a Perry spokesman confirmed.
Perry’s signature on the document comes just two days after he appeared at a forum hosted by the group, the Family Leader. His decision to sign was first reported by the Des Moines Register on Monday. The group’s leader, Bob Vander Plaats, has said that presidential candidates seeking the group’s endorsement must sign the pledge.
Perry joins Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania among Republican candidates for president in taking the pledge. Called “The Marriage Vow,” it came under fire this summer for a passage that suggested African-American children were better off under slavery because they were more likely to be raised in a two-parent household than they are today. That section was later retracted by the group.
A copy of the document Perry signed that was provided to CBS News and National Journal by the campaign shows that Perry did not request to make any modifications to the pledge, a precondition for signing demanded by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In signing, Perry has committed himself to a vigorous defense “traditional” marriage, including support for a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution, and “prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles,” according to one obscure provision of the text.
Vander Plaats is expected to make a decision about his endorsement in the near future, after consulting with the group’s board and other leaders across the country, according to Julie Summa, a spokeswoman for the Family Leader. It will be key in helping deliver a voting bloc of evangelicals – including the estimated 2,500 who attended the group’s Thanksgiving forum on Saturday.