Republican Jon Huntsman says there’s “nothing conservative about denying other Americans” marriage. Huntsman is a Mormon, the former governor of Utah, former GOP presidential candidate, and former Ambassador to China for Barack Obama. In an op-ed in The American Conservative, “Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause,” Huntsman finds his center — something he was clearly losing as the 2012 GOP presidential campaign heated up.
“All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall,” Huntsman writes. “This does not mean that any religious group would be forced by the state to recognize relationships that run counter to their conscience. Civil equality is compatible with, and indeed promotes, freedom of conscience.”
Marriage is not an issue that people rationalize through the abstract lens of the law; rather it is something understood emotionally through one’s own experience with family, neighbors, and friends. The party of Lincoln should stand with our best tradition of equality and support full civil marriage for all Americans.
Clearly Huntsman is preparing for another presidential run.
“Jon Huntsman is correct: The conservative movement is indeed at a crossroads, and it’s inspiring to see more and more conservative leaders such as Governor Huntsman walking the road that leads to the right side of history,” Gregory T. Angelo, the new Gregory T. Angelo, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director for the Log Cabin Republicans said via a statement:
Log Cabin Republicans has long had a strong and enduring relationship with Huntsman. This dates back to his tenure as Governor of Utah when he always recognized the dignity of gay couples and became the first Governor in the history of the state to officially open the doors of the Governor’s Mansion to the gay community. It is very encouraging to see he has also opened his views on marriage equality to include committed gay and lesbian couples.
As Governor Huntsman so eloquently stated, the time is now for the party championing free markets to champion the freedom to marry for all.
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry adds:
Like a growing number of conservatives, Jon Huntsman believes in fairness and freedom and has come to agree that nothing short of marriage for same-sex couples can fulfill these basic principles. Ensuring the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian people promotes America’s conservative values of limited government, individual responsibility, and our foundation of liberty and justice for all. We urge other conservatives to complete their own journeys towards support for the freedom to marry and to stand on the right side of history.
And Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin stated:
“Governor Jon Huntsman is one of a growing number of Republicans to embrace the idea that marriage should be for all Americans. From former Vice President Dick Cheney to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Huntsman is yet another high profile Republican official to make the case that treating people equally under the law is an American value.”
After Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and others, frankly, a Jon Huntsman run for president would be an intelligent breath of fresh air.
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