Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has come out on the other side of his former stance on gay marriage, according to a Feb. 22 Reuters report. Huntsman wrote his new views on providing equal rights to same-sex couples in an op-ed piece for “The American Conservative,” titled “Marriage Equality is a Conservative Cause.”
In his piece, the former U.S. ambassador to China Huntsman, starts off by discussing how critical it is for Conservatives to examine and learn from successful collaborations between Republicans and Democrats in states, such as Utah, where Huntsman served as governor.
He then leads into the right to marry for all Americans. “[C]onservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.”
He continues, “All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall. 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.”
Huntsman also explained that he “backed civil unions and reciprocal benefits for gay citizens” when he was governor of Utah. He noted it was “not because of political pressure,” but because his role as governor was to work for all Americans.
He concludes with “the American people will not hear us out if we stand against their friends, family, and individual liberty.”
As of date, only nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage.
For inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.