GOP congressman says he supports marriage equality: ‘Life is too short’

Rep. Charlie Dent J. Scott Applewhite, AP

Rep. Charlie DentJ. Scott Applewhite, AP

Rep. Charlie Dent

A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania says he now supports marriage equality for same-sex couples.

“Life is too short to have the force of government stand in the way of two adults whose pursuit of happiness includes marriage,” said U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) in a statement provided to The Washington Post on Wednesday.

Quoting from last week’s ruling striking down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, “in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage,” Dent said that in “conversations with my family, I have come to realize that they already see the world through that lens.”

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“As a Republican, I value equality, personal freedom and a more limited role for government in our lives,” he said. “I believe this philosophy should apply to the issue of marriage as well.”

In an interview last week, Dent predicted that in 20 years people will wonder “what all the fuss was about.”

With his support now on record, Dent joins a small club of congressional Republicans who back marriage equality: Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), and Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.).

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