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Pawlenty signs NOM marriage pledge
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty agreed to sign a marriage pledge being circulated by the National Organization for Marriage, a group that seeks to deny marriage or civil union rights to gays and lesbians.
The pledge, which was nearly immediately signed by three other 2012 GOP hopefuls — Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, requires candidates to fight to prevent same-sex couples from marrying and place a litmus test on all potential judicial appointments, if elected President.
Pawlenty’s signature follows a television appearance by Maggie Gallagher, chairwoman of NOM, in which the organization labeled the lack of Pawlenty’s signature “pretty particular” in light of his record of support for traditional marriage.
Alex Conant, spokesman for Pawlenty, told The Iowa Independent that the comments by Gallagher had little to do with the campaign’s ultimate decision to sign the pledge.
“I think they had a certain deadline on it,” Conant explained, “but Governor Pawlenty had been traveling. Once he had an opportunity to review it, he signed and we returned the document to them [Friday] morning.”
NOM is now reporting that former Ambassador to China and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has refused their pledge, and is taking particular note of comments Huntsman made on CNN with host Wolf Blitzer regarding marriage equality.
“I believe in traditional marriage,” Huntsman told Blitzer. “I don’t think you can redefine marriage from the traditional sense. I’m for civil unions. I came out for civil unions awhile ago. I think that we can do a better job as it relates to overall equality, specifically as it relates to reciprocal beneficiary rights.”
He added that same-sex marriage “is an issue that should be driven more and more at the state level.”
Several 2012 candidates, as well as other Iowa state and national politicians, have agreed to appear alongside NOM and a coalition of other anti-gay social conservatives groups during a Values Voter Bus Tour.