Group Challenges Candidates to Sign Marriage Pledge

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An influential pro-family group in Iowa known as The Family Leader is asking the 2012 presidential candidates to sign a marriage pledge.

The document includes 14 points on everything from defending traditional marriage to staying faithful to their spouse.

The Family Leader, an Iowa-based conservative group run by Bob Vander Plaats, wants all Republican candidates and President Obama to endorse its pledge titled, "The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family."

The vow is a promise to stand for things like the Defense of Marriage Act --something candidate Michele Bachmann hasn't shied away from.

"I believe that this is a fundamental issue to our nation -- the strength of our families and the marriage between a man and a woman," she once told CBN News.

Bachmann is reportedly the first candidate to sign The Marriage Vow.  Others say they are "reviewing" the document.

Key points in the conservative pledge include:

  • "Vigorous opposition" to redefining marriage.
  • "Prompt reform" of anti-marriage policies and divorce law.
  • Defense of freedom of speech and the right to stand for "faithful heterosexual monogomy."

Several of the 2012 GOP candidates have already made their position on marriage clear.

"We're united in our belief in the importance and the significance of marriage between one man and one woman," former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney said at the start of his campaign.

"I stand tall and proud for traditional marriage," candidate Jon Huntsman also said.  "You can't reopen the definition of marriage, that would not be a good thing. We can't be discussing that."

Bad behavior by politicians like Sen. John Edwards, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rep. Anthony Weiner also led Plaats to include wording on infidelity.

If elected, participants pledge:

  • Personal fidelity to their spouse
  • Respect for the marital bonds of others

But The Family Leader says it won't hold past misdeeds against politicians who have admitted their mistakes.

"I found that I felt compelled to seek God's forgiveness. Not God's understanding, but God's forgiveness. I do believe there's a forgiving God," former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told CBN News' David Brody.

The vow even includes family-friendly economic policies, requiring a "commitment to downsizing the government and the enormous burden upon American families."

The group wants candidates to sign the pledge by August 1.

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