05/28/2014 05:32 pm ET Updated May 28, 2014

Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Charlie Dent Comes Out For Gay Marriage

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Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) came out in support of gay marriage on Wednesday in an interview with 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," Dent told the Post. "As a Republican, I value equality, personal freedom and a more limited role for government in our lives... I believe this philosophy should apply to the issue of marriage as well."

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, an appointee of President George W. Bush, struck down Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban last Tuesday.

Dent congratulated gay couples last week in light of the ruling.

"U.S. District Judge John E. Jones's ruling on this issue appears to be the final legal say on this matter. To all the individuals who will now be able to marry as a result of today's ruling – Congratulations!" Dent told the Patriot-News.

This is a clear departure from when Dent voted for the gay marriage ban as a state representative in 1996.

Dent is a moderate within the Republican Party who previously bucked the GOP on the 2013 government shutdown.



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