Marriage Vow Pledge Edited After Criticism

Jul 11, 2011, 15:00 by Sarah Long

A socially conservative Iowa group has apologized for a passage about slavery in a pledge candidates were required to sign for endorsement, officials said.

"The Marriage Vow," which a group called The Family Leader required Republican candidates to sign as a condition for the group's endorsement in the presidential race, suggested African American babies might have been better off under slavery, The Washington Post reported.

The pledge said an African American born into slavery 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."

The pledge brought strong criticism from liberals and commentators, who noted that U.S. slaves were prevented from marrying and then were often sold at auction and forever separated from their families.

"After careful deliberation and wise insight and input from valued colleagues we deeply respect, we agree that the statement referencing children born into slavery can be misconstrued," said Julie Summa, a spokeswoman for the Family Leader. "We sincerely apologize for any negative feelings this has caused, and have removed the language from the vow."

Rep. Michele Bachmann, a presidential candidate, was among the first to sign the pledge. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum also signed the pledge, which also suggested homosexuality was not innate and might be a public health hazard.

Source: UPI