Justin Amash Backs DOMA Repeal On Twitter

The Republican congressman made the unexpected news in a conversation with The Huffington Post.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

WASHINGTON -- Conservative Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said Friday that he supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, though he wouldn't commit to cosponsor legislation to do that.

In an unexpected Twitter exchange with The Huffington Post, Amash, one of the more savvy members of Congress when it comes to social media, began with a tweet stating that the "real threat" to traditional marriage isn't lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples, but government itself.

This sparked a series of tweets with HuffPost about where he stands on repealing DOMA, a topic that has dominated the news this week as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law.

As laid out in his tweets, Amash emphasized that his support for repealing DOMA is tied to his belief that government shouldn't be involved in anyone's marriage. Amash's spokesman Will Adams explained the congressman's libertarian-leaning position on the matter earlier this week.

"I think in his ideal world, the governments -- at all levels all together -- would get out of marriage," Adams told HuffPost's Chelsea Kiene on Wednesday. "Much like we don’t want the government involved in my church’s communion or we don’t want the government to regulate my church’s baptism, we don’t want to have government regulate another sacrament in my church, which is marriage. That’s then his position."

Adams added, "But as a federal legislator, as a congressman, he’s in charge of shaping federal law and so he’s willing to oppose the federal government's definition of marriage in DOMA."

During Friday's Twitter exchange, HuffPost took the issue a step further and asked Amash if he would cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act. That bill, which Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) files in every Congress, currently has three GOP cosponsors. Amash didn't bite.

Amash’s views on DOMA have shifted in recent years. He said in 2010 that he “strongly support[s] the federal Defense of Marriage Act.” But by 2012, his position was more in line with what he says now: “I believe that marriage is a private, religious institution that should not be defined or redefined by the federal government.”

Chelsea Kiene contributed reporting.


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