Bachmann signs "values" pledge to oppose same-sex marriage, Sharia law, pornography

With a new poll in Iowa showing the tight race between Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney, Jan Crawford and John Dickerson report on where the candidates stand in the GOP race.

Iowa poll: Bachmann, Romney lead GOP race

Social conservative presidential candidate Michele Bachmann ups the ante in Iowa by signing a "values" pledge that other Republican presidential candidates may not support

Socially-conservative GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has become the first candidate to sign a conservative Christian group's pledge to oppose same-sex marriage and uphold "core values."

Bachmann's commitment to the pledge ups the ante in Iowa, where the other Republican candidates may now be pressed harder to prove their social conservative credentials. The support of groups like Family Leader, which created the pledge, could be significant in the state, where 60 percent of the Republican electorate in 2008 identified as "born-again Christian."

The candidates are being asked to say whether they'll sign the pledge by Aug. 1, and Bob Vander Plaats, the influential conservative who heads Family Leader, says he won't endorse any presidential candidate that does not sign it. Vander Plaats said Thursday he expects the responses to be made public ahead of the Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 13, the Des Moines Register reports.

The pledge, entitled "The Marriage Vow -- A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family," consists of 14 points, including "earnest, bona fide legal advocacy" for the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The pledge is also a commitment to personal fidelity to one's spouse, and to the protection of women and children from "types of coercion or stolen innocence" such as pornography. It also includes a rejection of "Sharia Islam," which it describes as an "anti-woman" form of "totalitarian control."

In addition, candidates are asked to recognize that "robust childrearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security." The pledge describes homosexuality as a choice and not genetic -- an issue Bachmann dodged on CBS' "Face the Nation."

A spokesman for Bachmann said the congresswoman signed the pledge because she "has a strong marriage and faith," the Register reports. Opposition to same-sex marriage has played a large part in Bachmann's political career, though she has been relatively quiet on the issue since starting her presidential campaign.

The pledge could prove embarrasing other candidates, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been married three times and admitted to an extramarital affair.

The preamble to the pledge states, "We acknowledge and regret the widespread hypocrisy of many who defend marriage yet turn a blind eye toward the epidemic of infidelity and the anemic condition of marriages in their own communities."

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