(CNN) – Add Tim Pawlenty to the list of Republican presidential candidates who will not sign the controversial marriage pledge from The Family Leader, a socially conservative group in Iowa.
The former Minnesota governor said he is a strong advocate for traditional marriage but will continue to define his marriage in his own words, instead of in "The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family."
"Rather than sign onto the words chosen but others, I prefer to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broke families through no fault of their own," Pawlenty said in a statement.
He also released a six and a half minute video Wednesday about his faith and union with his wife. Pawlenty said the voters deserve to understand his values because they "influence all that I do" and "has a great bearing on how you conduct yourself in public office."
The "vow," originally signed by GOP presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, contained a preamble suggesting black children born into slavery had better family structures than black children now. The excerpt was later removed and Bachmann and Santorum clarified their positions.
The Family Leader is an important socially conservative group in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, holding sway over the state's traditionally more conservative caucus-goers who influence the fate of presidential campaigns.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declined to sign the pledge Tuesday because he felt it contained "references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign." He also reaffirmed his commitment to "traditional marriage."
- CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.