2012 Election | Bob Vander Plaats | Iowa | Mitt Romney | News | Republican Party

Mitt Romney Rejects Conservative Iowa Group's 'Marriage Vow', Calls It 'Undignified and Inappropriate'

Mitt Romney has said he won't sign a "marriage vow" pushed by social conservative Iowa group The Family Leader which asked candidates to put their signature on a pledge to oppose same-sex marriage, Sharia law, infidelity, and pornography.

Vanderplaats The document also contained a section which said that African-American families were better off during the time of slavery.

The section read:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.

That section was removed after public outrage, but not before Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum had both signed the pledge.

Romney is the first GOP candidate to reject signing the vow, the AP reports:

Andrea Saul told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Romney "strongly supports traditional marriage," but that the oath circulated last week by The Family Leader "contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign."

Romney is three points behind Bachmann in the latest GOP Iowa straw poll.

In a video posted today, Bob Vander Plaats (pictured), the head of The Family Leader and the leading anti-gay activist in Iowa, posted a video trying to explain what the "marriage vow" means and what he meant by the slavery reference.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Well, good for Mitt. Let's see how some common sense and common decency goes over with the GOP primary voters.

    If McCain had picked Mitt for his running mate he would probably be sitting in the White House instead of Obama.

    Posted by: equality now | Jul 12, 2011 8:27:10 PM

  2. He's for Sharia law, that's all.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 12, 2011 8:33:50 PM

  3. Romney was not the first GOP candidate to reject signing the vow. Gary Johnson rejected signing the vow, calling it "offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded" back on July 9.

    Posted by: Chuck | Jul 12, 2011 8:34:15 PM

  4. Smart political move. Don't forget, however, that Romney is in favor of a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jul 12, 2011 8:47:39 PM

  5. Gary Johnson's response was better, but good for Mitt.

    Posted by: Mark (different one) | Jul 12, 2011 8:48:26 PM

  6. Methinks The Republican Party is dead in The USA.
    I find Obama an appalling and almost cypher like leader. Even with him as President, i doubt any Republican buffoon can beat the leader of our leaderless country.

    Posted by: Kevin Thor | Jul 12, 2011 8:56:08 PM

  7. Why would anyone take this Family Leader group seriously?!

    Posted by: jaragon | Jul 12, 2011 9:01:03 PM

  8. @Equality Now: Actually Sarah Palin was the best thing to happen to McCain. She excited the base and drove them to the polls. Mitt was boring then and is boring now.

    Posted by: Frankie | Jul 12, 2011 9:09:55 PM

  9. One history footnote.

    Slaves weren't allowed to be married. It would have made things difficult if their owners didn't want to sell them as a pair. The slaves created their own version of a wedding, hence the phrase "jumping the broom". So their marriages weren't legal.
    Anyone sense a pattern here?

    Posted by: Tony | Jul 12, 2011 9:11:50 PM

  10. Don't think romney's frefusal had anything to do with us gays or the previously in there slavery bit

    It had to do with the 1 wife to 1 man bit which basically would have Romney denouncing his own and all mormons' familys' pasts.

    Romney would have to repudiate/ denounce his own great grandfather and great great grandfather (who himself had 12 wives)

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv | Jul 12, 2011 9:16:03 PM

  11. In 1923 the German people did not take Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party seriously. In 1933 Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. I'm not saying this little group in Iowa is going to take over the country but their are many ideologically related groups around the US. If our government does not address the very real economic problems facing our country, I am frightened by the possibilities.

    Posted by: PLAINTOM | Jul 12, 2011 9:31:16 PM

  12. Bob Vander Plaats says: "Trust your anal virginity to me. Cause the homos will find a way to rape you."

    And send me money.

    This is the definition of a whore and a pimp.

    Christianity should not be proud of Bob Vander Plaats.

    And stop sending him money fools.

    Posted by: bkmn | Jul 12, 2011 9:37:14 PM

  13. Well at least he does have SOME common sense.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Jul 12, 2011 9:39:38 PM

  14. Jakeinlove

    NO he doesn't

    Everyone , do not assign any commonsense or compassion to Romney over this

    It is purely selfish. Signing it publicly denounces his and all mormon families family trees due to the 1 man to 1 wife bit in the pledge

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv | Jul 12, 2011 9:49:48 PM

  15. I feel sad for Republicans, and even sadder for gay Republicans. The choice for the GOP Presidential nomination would pretty much be an "Okay, who's the least bigoted?" choice. I'm somewhat glad that Romney called this thing out, but I doubt he did it for the right reasons and any convictions of the heart.

    Besides, a vote for any Republican is still a vote for civil rights annihilation.

    Posted by: finkles2000 | Jul 12, 2011 10:08:59 PM

  16. It's hard for me to feel sorry for any republican but Mitt Romney has a tough job these days, having to appeal to the dumbest part of the electorate. He very much reminds me of Arnold Schwarzenegger. These people may embrace some republican ideas but they're not crazy. I feel they don't really belong in the republican camp because they are capable of thinking.

    As for the "values pledge" that he refused to sign, my favorite part in it is the second bullet point, which pledges "Respect for the marital bonds of others." Does that include the marital bonds of the 16 thousand same-sex couples who are legally married in the state of Massachusetts? I mean, a legal marital bond is a marital bond, right?

    The teabaggers only want what they want. What a bunch of hypocrites. This is the 21st century and these morons are turning us into the laughing stock of the world. Argentina has gay marriage at the national level, for crying out loud.

    Posted by: Mark | Jul 12, 2011 10:17:18 PM

  17. If recent press coverage on the stupidity of this ultra-wing wing manifesto was not so negative, Romney would have signed it. He waited to see how the wind was blowing then came down on what is perceived to be "the correct side." If coverage had gone the other way, Romney would have followed Santorum and Bachmann immediately and signed. He could have made this statement a week ago but waited...a calculated move by a man of ever-changing "convictions."

    Posted by: Tim | Jul 12, 2011 10:47:24 PM

  18. "Slaves weren't allowed to be married. It would have made things difficult if their owners didn't want to sell them as a pair. The slaves created their own version of a wedding, hence the phrase "jumping the broom". So their marriages weren't legal.
    Anyone sense a pattern here?"


    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jul 12, 2011 10:53:31 PM

  19. this just in: Iowa, July 12, 2011. Rope supplies are dwindling and becoming both increasingly scarce and in huge demand as the straw poll nears for the Republican candidates for President here in the corn state.

    Posted by: vwdavy | Jul 12, 2011 11:27:09 PM

  20. in nazis germany most people remained silent because it didn't effect them. the nazis then moved to another group to hate then a third. in the end there was nobody left to oppose them. notice any similarities to modern repuks they are opposed to gays, blacks hispanics and anybody who doesn't think just like them.

    Posted by: walter | Jul 12, 2011 11:28:35 PM

  21. ...read all the literature out there? i wonder if he ever reads reliable literature at all.

    Posted by: Akira | Jul 13, 2011 12:39:49 AM

  22. The "Family Leader" can explain what was meant all he/they want. It still all boils down to self-righteousness, bigotry and intolerance.

    Posted by: Justin L Werner | Jul 13, 2011 1:15:57 AM

  23. I find it odd that Vander Plaats has such a thorough defense for the "black baby" statement. He obviously thinks he has a clear explanation for why that language should have stayed in the pledge, which begs the question, why take it out to begin with?

    Posted by: DN | Jul 13, 2011 5:57:44 AM

  24. Has anyone figured out Vander Plaat's motivation yet? I don't get a gay vibe from him, so I doubt it's self loathing. Anyone know how much money he makes from running this Family Leader group?

    Posted by: Mark (different one) | Jul 13, 2011 7:58:54 AM

  25. Let's not get too excited about this opportunist. When Mitt ran for US Senate, he told everyone he favored gay marriage - and was more liberal than Ted Kennedy on the issue. Seriously.

    He did a complete about-face right after the election, of course.

    Posted by: wimsy | Jul 13, 2011 9:57:50 AM

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