Presumed Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney has signed an anti-gay pledge issued by the National Organization for Marriage, joining fellow candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.
All three backed the half-page pledge, which lists five actions they promise to fulfill if they are elected president. The platform includes supporting a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman; defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court; and advancing legislation to allow District of Columbia residents to vote on abolishing same-sex marriage, which is already legal in D.C.
NOM also requires signers to nominate federal judges and appoint an attorney general who “reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.” Lastly, signers promise to “establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.”
“We are grateful to Michelle [sic] Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum for their courage and their leadership in standing up for marriage,” said NOM president Brian Brown. NOM offered the pledge to all “serious” candidates for the Republican nomination.
Bachmann’s and Santorum’s radical views against homosexuality are well documented. Last month, Bachmann came under fire for co-owning two Christian counseling centers outside Minneapolis that allegedly practice “reparative therapy” to “cure” gays of their same-sex attraction. In 2003, then-Senator Rick Santorum likened same-sex relationships to bestiality in an interview with the Associated Press.
Romney was the governor of Massachusetts when that state became the first to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003. At that time, Romney did not support same-sex marriage but did back civil unions for gay and lesbian couples; in 2005, however, he urged the U.S. Senate to back a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Romney has thus far avoided scandal over his anti-gay views, but as the campaign season heats up, further scrutiny will be unavoidable.