Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said the Defense of Marriage Act “serves a useful purpose” and allows states to decide on marriage issues.
“It allows states to make their own decisions, to make their own way, and the Defense of Marriage Act, I think, is a safeguard for those states to make that decision,” Huntsman said.
The former Utah governor responded to a question from the Washington Blade at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 8.
DOMA prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay marriage and allows states to ignore marriages performed in other states. DOMA prevents gay couples from receiving the same tax, health care and immigration benefits as their straight counterparts.
This isn’t the first time Huntsman has weighed in on the issue and told CNN’s Piers Morgan that DOMA is a good “safeguard.”
Huntsman has been a favorite among gay Republicans based on his support for civil unions and employment and housing protection.
“I believe in civil unions – I know some might not always agree with that. I believe in equality under the law. I believe that, from this country, we can lead by example. I believe that we are a shining light the rest of the world looks to. I found that to be the case living overseas four times. And when we do it right in this country, we exude values that the rest of the world seems to watch and emulate — values of individual dignity, liberty, democracy, human rights and open markets,” Huntsman said.