Beleaguered Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu has told the Washington Blade that his bid for Congress is definitely still on, despite the deportation scandal still percolating locally. A rabid libertarian, Babeu says that he supports the repeal of DOMA because marriage should be a state and not a federal issue. Chris Johnson reports:
Babeu said he would “certainly vote to repeal” the Defense of Marriage Act and said he thinks the anti-gay law exceeds the authority of the government under the U.S. Constitution. “I’m a strict constitutionalist as well,” Babeu said. “As a strict constitutionalist, this has no business at the federal level. This should go to the states.” The sheriff said his opposition to DOMA is in line with his belief that the government shouldn’t tell religions which individuals they can or can’t marry. “The issue of marriage is a deeply religious ceremony, and this is where the government shouldn’t tell certain faiths, say like Catholics, that they have to marry two men or two women, in the same way that they shouldn’t tell other faiths or religions that they can’t,” Babeu said. “This isn’t a role for the government to enter into. This is an issue of religious freedom.”
Saying he was unfamiliar with the bill, Babeu declined to comment on the Uniting American Families Act, which would ban the deportation of the foreign spouses of gay U.S. citizens. Babeu added that he believes Mitt Romney would be a friend to the gay community if elected president. He also said that he find it “outrageous” that some are wondering about his personal friendship with state Rep. Matt Heinz, one of two Democrats who granted $1.7M to Babeu’s office. Both GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans have reached out to Babeu.