Republican Congressman Backs Gay Marriage Because ‘Life Is Too Short’

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Photo: Brendan Hoffman/2010 Getty Images

While many prominent figures in the GOP have expressed their support for same-sex marriage recently, that number is much lower for politicians still in office. Only five Republicans in Congress have backed marriage equality, and on Wednesday Pennsylvania Representative Charlie Dent became the sixth. A week after congratulating couples who can now marry after a federal judge struck down the state's gay-marriage ban, Dent made his position official, telling the Washington Post, "Life is too short to have the force of government stand in the way of two adults whose pursuit of happiness includes marriage." Previously, Dent voted for Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban and the Defense of Marriage Act, but he said conversations with his wife and three teenage children helped change his mind. "As a Republican, I value equality, personal freedom and a more limited role for government in our lives," Dent said. "I believe this philosophy should apply to the issue of marriage as well."