Jon Huntsman has said that the Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA) “serves a useful purpose,” gay weekly The
Washington Blade reported.
DOMA is the 1996 law that bars federal
agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian
couples and allows states to ignore such marriages.
“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,” the
former Utah governor said during an event Thursday at the National
Press Club in the District of Columbia.
During an August appearance on CNN's
Piers Morgan Tonight, Huntsman used similar language to
describe DOMA's role.
marriage ban DOMA repeal bill clears Senate panel.)
Huntsman has previously endorsed civil
unions for gay and lesbian couples.
When asked if he endorsed President
Barack Obama's plan to tie
some foreign aid to gay rights, Huntsman tip-toed around the
“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. “I think we ought to focus on
getting our own house in order here in terms of how we treat one
another, the respect we feel for one another, getting our economy
back on track and fixing our core. If we can do that, I think the
rest of the world will pay us a little more attention.”