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Mitt Romney Rejects Iowa Marriage Pledge, But Why?

Jul 13, 2011

Mitt Romney did the right thing by rejecting a social conservative group’s repulsive “marriage pledge.” Will he explain his reasoning?

MittRomneyPointing Mitt Romney Rejects Iowa Marriage Pledge, But Why?

As Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum bent over backward to endorse a right wing document pledging allegiance to conservative values, the Romney campaign says that while their candidate supports “traditional marriage,” he finds some of the pledge’s “references and provisions [to be] undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign.”

The pledge, put out last week by right wing activist Bob Vander Plaats and his group, The Family Leader, reads like a hit list on American freedoms.

One of the document’s many demands prohibits all forms of pornography, which, according to the Family Leader, leads to “stolen innocence.” Elsewhere, candidates must vow to fight “Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control,” and to support “robust childbearing.”

Yet another bullet point demands that candidates “[fiercely defend] the First Amendment’s rights of religious liberty and freedom of speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.”

Anyone who fights for LGBT rights, then, becomes an automatic enemy of the state.

Romney’s disavowal of the marriage pledge shows that he’s moving away from social conservatives — a group that wouldn’t support a Mormon candidate, anyway — and focusing on economics.

That’s clearly a wise choice: the governor has a long, long record of flip-flopping on social issues.

For instance, in 1994, while running for governor, Romney claimed that he would be an advocate for gay rights. “We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern,” he wrote to the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP group.

When it came time to run for president in 2008, however, Romney changed his tune to appease the Republican Party’s conservative base. Now he’s moving away from such rabid right wing politics, and clearly hopes to rise above the homophobic drama that is currently complicating Bachmann’s White House run.

That’s good, right? Yes, it is: congrats to Romney for rejecting hateful politics.

But his campaign’s explanation still leaves many questions, like what parts of the document does Romney find “undignified”? Is it the vow to be loyal to his wife? Is it the disgracefully un-American attack on Muslim people? Is it the questionable claim that married people have better sex?

If Romney truly wants to take the moral high ground on the Family Leader’s pledge, he’ll actually spell out why he finds the marriage pledge “inappropriate” and set his opponents straight on what qualifies as dignified and what does not.

But, alas, that’s probably asking too much from a millionaire business man who once tried to court voters by saying, “I’m also unemployed.” Because for Romney, everything is a calculation, and he rarely shows his work.

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