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Perry signs pledge backing amendment against gay marriage

Gov. Rick Perry has signed a pledge to back a federal constitutional amendment against gay marriage -- a reversal from a month ago when he said he so supported individual states' rights, and that he was fine with New York's approval of same-sex marriage.

The pledge by the National Organization for Marriage states that, if elected president, Perry will send a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification and appoint U.S. Supreme Court and federal judges who will "reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution."

Others vying for the Republican presidential nomination, including Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, have also signed it, according to Brian Brown, president of Washington-based National Organization for Marriage, which campaigns against same-sex marriage.

Perry's decision raised some eyebrows because it appears to contradict his previous position that this is an issue that should be left up to individual state legislatures.

Perry won applause at a Republican conference in Colorado on July 22 when he said of New York's same-sex marriage law, "that's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me."

Those comments alarmed some conservatives, however, and Perry moved to soothe fears the following week when he said during a broadcast interview with Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council, "I probably needed to add a few words after that 'It's fine with me.' "

"Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn't changed. I believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman," Perry told Perkins.

His signing of the pledge reiterates that clarification.

Meanwhile, Bachmann said Friday while campaigning in Florida that she wouldn't rule out changes to the federal minimum wage as a way to lower the cost of doing business and lure corporations back to the United States.

The Minnesota congresswoman told supporters at a sandwich shop in Jacksonville, Fla., that the corporate income tax needs to be reduced because companies are moving to other countries to save money.

She was later asked by a reporter whether changes to the minimum wage should also be considered to balance the cost of labor here and overseas.

"I'm not married to anything. I'm not saying that's where I'm going to go," she said.

She said she wants to look at all aspects of doing business, from regulations to tax codes, and will consider anything that will help create jobs.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

In another development, a new Gallup poll shows Perry is the tea party's presidential favorite.

Thirty-five percent of Republican voters who support the tea party movement told Gallup that they prefer Perry out of a field of eight GOP presidential contenders. About 14 percent favored Bachmann, who heads the Tea Party Caucus in Congress.

The poll was conducted Aug. 17-21 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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