WASHINGTON, D.C., August 10, 2011 ( – Several top contenders for the GOP presidential ticket have signed a National Organization for Marriage (NOM) pledge to defend legal marriage as between a man and a woman.

The NOM pledge commits signatories to promoting a federal marriage amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman, defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act, investigating harassment of true marriage supporters, and appointing a pro-family attorney general and federal judges.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), and even the moderate-leaning former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have added their signatures. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty agreed to sign last week after initially opting out, a decision that had left marriage leaders “scratching our heads,” in the words of NOM board chairman Maggie Gallagher.

Pawlenty’s campaign had instead referred voters to the candidate’s video statements. There, he affirmed the role of his faith in public office as well as his support for true marriage, which he called “a moral building block for society.” “I’ve always stood for that in my public life and my personal life,” said Pawlenty of true marriage.

GOP candidate Herman Cain did not sign the pledge.

The marriage lobby said it had extended the pledge to all significant candidates, and would be offered to Gov. Rick Perry and other major candidates once they enter the race.


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