Romney signs new marriage pledge, Pawlenty doesn't

This anti-equality pledge is 100 percent slavery-free

Published August 4, 2011 8:01PM (EDT)

Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney
Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney

There's a new marriage pledge! Everyone sign the new marriage pledge! This one is from the National Organization for Marriage, one of the more prominent organizations dedicated to fighting marriage. Unlike the last big marriage pledge, from that far-right Iowa group, this pledge does not explicitly defend slavery, so it is totally OK for candidates to sign.

That's why Mitt Romney, who skipped the slavery pledge, was fine with this one. What are the candidates pledging to do, exactly?

  • Back an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment
  • Defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court
  • Appoint anti-gay marriage judges
  • Make D.C. residents vote on the same-sex marriage rights they currently already enjoy
  • Most fun: Pledge signers promise to "[appoint] a commission to investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters." (Why not a SUPER-commission?)

Romney's on board. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, obviously, are on board. But whither Tim Pawlenty? Is he now trying to get noticed by being the one guy who didn't sign the marriage pledge? It's getting him some ink at the Corner. Kathryn Lopez says she's tired of pledges, but she still really seems to want T-Paw to sign this pledge. Maggie Gallagher, chairwoman of NOM, says:

“Pawlenty’s communications director Ann Marie Hauser personally informed me on Tuesday that Tim Pawlenty would not sign NOM’s marriage pledge. Like many people, we are scratching our heads wonder why Governor Pawlenty, who has been a champion for marriage in Minnesota, would not commit to doing so for America.”

Katrina Trinko says T-Paw might be skipping this pledge because he wouldn't sign the other pledge, or something? Lopez -- who is, again, sick of pledges -- weighs in once more, wondering if the Pawlenty campaign shouldn't maybe just write its own anti-gay marriage pledge, and sign that. Finally, she decides that Tim Pawlenty is "solid on marriage" and doesn't need to sign a pledge to prove his opposition to gross gayness. And that is the story of Tim Pawlenty not signing the marriage pledge, for reasons unknown.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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2012 Elections Gay Marriage Lgbt Mitt Romney Tim Pawlenty War Room