John Huntsman: Conservatives should support same-sex marriage

Alex Wong GETTY IMAGES Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks on day four of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the … Continued

Alex Wong

GETTY IMAGES

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks on day four of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 4, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives 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.”

“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.”

-Former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, writing in The American Conservative about why he supports same-sex Marriage

Read more on religion in U.S. politics at the Berkley Center.

  • FrenchChef

    When speaking about First Amendment issues in regards to marriage equality, it’s always important to remember it isn’t just a matter of those denominations who lie that they’d be forced to perform same gender marriages. The major Christian, Jewish and other denominations that are marrying same gender couples now are being denied their right to practice their religion freely in 41 US States. These denominations will marry same gender couples in 9 US States and the District of Columbia, and have married them in California:

    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Conservative Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ

  • mick7744

    John Huntsman was probably the only one of the wretched crew that sought the GOP nomination who might have had a chance against President Obama

    He was most certainly the only one of them who was morally, intellectually and emotionally qualified to be President of the United States

    Of course, given the present dismal state of the Republican party, with every sane voice being shouted down by the extreme right fanatics that infest the GOP…Mr Huntsman would have been rendered unrecognizable and indeed, unseen…

    Hidden under a gigantic pile pf tea bags and self-serving special interests.

    Thank you, GOP…for going so easy on us by fielding a harmless empty suit like Romney instead.

    Imagine a gutless bully like Romney “coming out” in favor of same-sex marriage…

    Can’t do it, can ya?

  • Vanka

    Way to go, John!

    I was born and raised Republican (Conservative), and I have NEVER understood how denying others equality before the law was a platform Conservatives should have ever considered, much less crammed down the throats of the nation!

  • B2O2

    Give it up Jon. Conservatives march in lock step with the Taliban and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when it comes to social issues. You’d have just as much luck getting them to embrace science when it comes to global warming. Oh wait, you tried that too – how did that work out?

    Just be done with it and switch to a modern political party. Getting this bunch to join the 21st century is a fool’s errand.

  • justicethinks

    This is to political! Isn’t same sex marriage against his religion? The belief, marriage under God does not exist between same sex couples?

  • Catken1

    But he’s not talking about “marriage under God,” or about requiring his religion to recognize same-sex marriage.
    He is talking about CIVIL marriage, and the CIVIL laws of this country, which support freedom from religion, and do not allow us to require anyone to adhere to particular religious taboos and dogmas in order to enter into a CIVIL contract.

  • Anthony Marquez

    I gotta respect Huntsman. He talks about global warming and backs gay marriage and you can tell he believes in what hes saying and has strong convictions. It is politically risky, him being a libertarian leaning Republican to take positions, Democrats do so to appease their latte sipping socialist base. Kudos to Jon for standing for something. As a libertarian leaning conservative, he believes that the Gov. should keep the heck out of our lives and our wallets and that gov. should be responsible with our money. This is the kind of leader we need, someone who can get results and solve problems, not someone like Obama, who is more concerned with “transforming” America into his eastern european style “socialist utopia”

  • jay2drummer

    There’s a reason he emphasizes “civil marriage”, because it does run contrary to his religious beliefs, and I’m sure he would oppose his own church performing/sanctioning/recognizing same sex marriages. However, as one of the few remaining true conservatives remaining in the Republican party, he also recognizes that government has no business pushing his, or anyone else’s, religious views on any other citizen.

  • dcrswm

    When can the social security office expect your letter informing them you will not accept any of their socialist money?

  • larryclyons

    Or when are you going to be stopping using the roads, hospitals, schools, public health, food inspections etc., that are beenefits of our socialist system.

    You reich wingers are a joke you have no clue what socialism is, and would not know it even if Tommy Douglas or Sinclair Lewis snuck up behind you and gave you a wedgie.

  • Texans

    No they aren’t. Any church can marry anybody of their choice, any time. But it doesn’t mean diddly to the state unless the couple applies for a license.

  • TippyCanoe

    Don’t forget the fire dept and the cops when you have need’em. How about the mailman who still delivers to your door for 50 cents. Opps I guess you would rather live in Somalia.

  • Watcher1

    OK, the Fire dept and the mailman I’ll go with, cops? not so much, pretty useless, well, unless you need your dog shot.

  • Watcher1

    Romney would be “for” same sex marriage as long as he could shave their heads first.

  • Watcher1

    Another of the slew of republicans coming forward in an effort to be pro-something and actually compassionate. Don’t buy it, it’s like everything else they do, phoney as a 3 dollar bill.

  • jay2drummer

    You might want to look at his actual politics. This is completely in line with his type of Conservatism and strict Constitutionalism. Among the Republican party, he’s one of the few true Conservatives left, the kind that actually believes in smaller government influence on our lives, not just financially, but also in regulating social issues.

  • sugarplum491

    Huntsman should switch parties. Ooooh, what fun.

  • zmega

    Huntsman is a fairly reasonable guy. That’s why he has no shot in Republican politics.

  • globalone

    Since Republicans pay most of the income taxes, I think it’s fair to say that they’ve earned the right to use the “roads, hospitals, schools, public health, food inspections, etc.”

    Since 47% of the population (see: liberal democrats) pays no income tax – perhaps you should be asking them about the “free” use of all these “public” programs.

  • globalone

    He might also be honest and faithful – neither of which is desirable in Clintonland.

  • jay2drummer

    Yeah, that 47% is a really bad argument. Of that 47%, 61% were workers who pay payroll taxes, but don’t earn enough to pay taxes or get a full refund on what they do pay. 22% are the elderly, living on social security and their savings, no longer pulling in a paycheck, the vast majority of them did pay taxes. A lot in taxes over their lives. 3% are students. 7% are not working due to illness or disability that make it impossible for them to find or keep work. The remaining 7% is “other” reasons. So, even if you you count all of the students, all of the disabled, and all of the “others” (which includes households that fall into multiple of the above categories), that means of that “47%”, AT MOST 17% of them (roughly 6% of the country) can be considered “freeloaders”.

  • globalone

    FYI – It’s a bad argument when you imply that the 47% pay no taxes whatsoever. I specifically referred to income taxes in my post.

  • jay2drummer

    Which is specifically what I refer to in my comment. The people who pay no income taxes are either a) people who currently have no source of income or b) make so little income that their federal returns result in a full refund. Btw that 61% group, yeah, those are largely the people responsible for all those programs, the people who fix roads, the cops, the teachers, etc.

  • jjlc125

    “There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.”

    Actually, Mr. Huntsman, there is nothing conservative about changing an institution which has served civilization well for thousands of years.

  • Catken1

    If you can’t protect your favored form of marriage by taking responsibilty for your own choices and your own marriage, you’ve no right to go whining to government for special protectionism.

    And marriage has changed many, many times, drastically, over those thousands of years and among the many, many very different civilizations who have had very different ideas about marriage. Demanding that Big Daddy Government step in to keep a flexible, adaptable institution imprisoned in YOUR preferred form because YOU want to dictate how everyone else must view, live and run their own personal marriages is not conservative, humane, or intelligent.

  • Centaur927

    I give Huntsman credit for helping the GOP get with the times and would like to see him run in 2016. Either the party will move to the center on some social issues while espousing fiscal conservancy and have a shot at winning, or it will become more and more of a fringe party and never win again.

  • itsthedax

    A marriage is a legal state. Where a wedding takes place is irrelevant.

    The extreme fringe of the christian right is trying to define the right to marry according to the wedding ceremony. In doing so, they’re attempting to have the government deny civil rights to a particular minority. This is not only wrong, and evil, its unamerican.

  • mzmecz

    This is the man who might have beaten Obama

  • Watcher1

    Riight, part of the party that has increased government every time they’re in office. Huntsman, though his policies appear as you say, is all bait and switch. He can try all he wants, if he wants to get anywhere with his policies he should switch parties, then I’ll believe him. Right now he is part and parcel of the party of “NO!”, the “Obstructionist” Party and the “Stupid” party, there goes his credibility.

  • Watcher1

    Seems the Red states are the ones that take in more federal dollars than they pay in taxes so I wouldn’t be too quick to tout how “republicans” pay more in taxes.

  • Angela123

    But it hasn’t worked well, at all. When it comes to marriage, straight people have a fail rate of over 50%. Heterosexuals have done far more damage to the institute of marriage than homosexuals ever could.

  • jjlc125

    The high divorce rate is a modern phenomenon.

  • jjlc125

    I seriously doubt it. Mitt Romney, as flawed as he was, was a better candidate than Gov. Huntsman would have been.

  • Catken1

    That’s because legal divorce is a modern phenomenon. But spouses have always abandoned their spouses and families, and in some societies (think lower-class Victorian England), heterosexual marriage itself has been almost absent from everyday life, with partners getting together and splitting up without the benefit of law or clergy.

  • Catken1

    Trapping people in bad marriages does nothing to defend or protect marriage as an institution, either.

  • Gabarus`

    I’m not so sure about that Jil. I think at worst, he would have fared the same.

    The trick is, Huntsman would have attracted some the moderates that the Romney campaign didn’t seem to desire, but would have pushed away some of the social conservative base that the Romney camp did desire. So it could have ended up six in one hand, half dozen in the other. Then again, Hunstman may have been able to turn more moderates than he might have lost in social cons. It’s hard to really say anything for sure without a crystal ball into a parallel universe, but it’s kind of interesting to speculate.

  • Centaur927

    Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina said Huntsman was the candidate they were glad they did not face. For starters, he would not have made the 47% comment and other gaffes that damaged Romney and he also would have distanced himself from Aiken and Mourdock. Romney lost seven of eight battleground states and Huntsman would have taken at least a few of them.

  • itsthedax

    Huntsman would have been strong candidate in a national election. However there is no way he would be chosen as a candidate by the lunatics that currently make up the republican party.

  • itsthedax

    The DOMA is based on the position that the institution of marriage is under attack by people who are trying to get married.

  • jay2drummer

    “Since marriage is, by definition, between one man and one woman, it is you who are attempting to push perversion into an American societal institution.” Actually, that’s how YOU define marriage. That’s not how everyone define it, and it’s certainly not how it’s always been defined.

    “Homosexuality is not a race; it is a behavioral choice.” Well, yes, you’re right, it’s not a race. Nor is gender. Or hair color. Or being left-handed. Or height. Homosexuality, as science has shown, has a genetic basis, even if it’s not completely genetic (there is some evidence that early childhood may have influences on whether a person acts on or suppresses that instinct). Of course, homosexuals acting on their attraction is a choice, which the Court has ruled is none of anyone else’s business. And attraction is innate, and telling people that they must suppress their instincts because you find it gross, even though there is nobody harmed by their relationships, is a massive government overstep.

  • minstrelmike

    But if they get married, then won’t they start reproducing more? I’m sure there’s some sort of claim on Fox ‘news’ about that

  • minstrelmike

    Basic Mormonism most definitely does NOT define marriage as occurring between one man and one woman. That was a stipulation they supposedly agreed to in order to become a State of the Union themselves.

    We can decide to redefine any human social structure at any time (obviously).

  • john reed davis

    Huntsman does have nice politicians hair.

  • itsthedax

    Scott, what do you mean by “behavioral choice”? Are you saying that you chose to be heterosexual? Did you consider being attracted to men, than decide against it?

  • itsthedax

    And Scott, please try to stay in the real world. The courts have consistantly ruled that marriage is not defined as one-man-one-woman. In fact, marriage is essentially undefined. The lunatic fringe of the christian right is attempting to get marriage defined to suit their prejudices, but they haven’t yet succeeded.

  • itsthedax

    I’m constantly amazed that the lunatic christian fringe treats civil rights as a zero-sum game. they seem to feel that, in order for them to have their rights protected, other people have give up theirs.

    When the courts have ruled on the right to marry, they have always protected the right of the individual, instead of the sensibilities of the religious. In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court of unambiguous in stating that the right to marry is a fundamental freedom that may not be infringed, saaying in part:

    “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

    So, religionists, everyone else in this country has the same rights as you. Cope with it.

  • itsthedax

    Please pay attention Scott. You and your fellow religionistas are the ones that are attempting to define marriage. You’re doing this because you are opposed to the current provisions of the constitution.

    And this is a perfect example of the division between church and state. Everyone in this country is entitled to the same legal protecitons and civil rights, but they in no way impact your religion.

  • itsthedax

    So Scott, when did you decide that you were not going to act on your homosexual impulses? After all, that’s what you meant by “behavioral choice”, right?

  • dcrswm

    Homosexuality is a choice you say? And you don’t want that choice impacting your life?….Funny, religion is actually a choice and the constitution says it cannot be used to dictate policy.

  • PhillyJimi1

    Scott, marriage is a legal contract. Mainly about who inherited property rights and it was about men pimping out their daughters for property/money. The church of course saw an opportunity to get involved and make some money.

    I do agree for 99.9% of history marriage has been defined between a man and a woman. Who cares? What does it matter? It wasn’t until 1920 women didn’t have the right to vote in this country. We used to in slave our fellow humans.

    It is time to allow a homosexual couple to enjoy the legal rights that a marriage contract offers. Why, because it is fair. It doesn’t matter if it is a choice or a function of genetics.

    If homosexuality bothers you, I don’t care because whatever someone does behind closed door is their business. It is called freedom to choose how one wants to live one lives.

  • globalone

    As David Blankenhorn sagely pointed out in his book, The Future of Marriage, some Southern racists redefined marriage to make it something it was never supposed to be about — racial purity — when race is not any part of marriage. It was about making marriage do something it was never intended to do for the sake of their own narrow social ideals.

    Likewise, same-sex marriage advocates today are drafting marriage into their own narrow social cause, as a way to elevate the social standing of homosexuality. Like keeping the races apart then, marriage has no place in this special-interest-based re-engineering.

  • itsthedax

    This is interesting, a religionist attempting to redefine marriage to deny a minority the right to marry the person of their choice, while attempting to cite the anti-miscenegation laws.

    Well glob, it may interest you to know that the “southern racists” also used religion to justify their attempt at DOMA. The first ruling judge in Loving v. Virginia wrote an opinion statiing “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    So, you may get your wish, and drive this country back to a time when the law didn’t apply to everyone equally. You may succeed in destroying the very foundation of this country. But some of us will oppose you every step of the way.

  • NOMA1

    When I voted for the President in 2008, I thought it was a shame that the political credibility and career of Sen. McCain was savaged by the Palin candidacy, but it made the choice clear for me.

    Assuming Huntsman wouldn’t be similarly wound like a toy by his own party, I’m not sure who I would have voted for in 2012 and I consider myself a moderate Democrat.

  • NOMA1

    The most ridiculous argument of this debate is the “definition” of marriage in secular sources. The outright silly cite Webster’s Dictionary, while the strategically serious cite Black’s Law Dictionary. But those same sources would readily change their definition of marriage to reflect the predominant state of social and legal meaning.

    How various churches, temples, synagogues, whatever want to “define” marriage is another matter. They’ll still do what they want. They don’t have to marry gay men and women respectively, or welcome more families in their doors.

    Of course that type of exclusivity always comes to roost. Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and many Jews refuse to condone interfaith marriages. You can guess how well that’s worked out for them in a heterogeneous country like the U.S.

  • NOMA1

    itsthedax – This isn’t really about religion. There are plenty of religious persons who would cite their faith as the inspiration to challenge the status quo, as was the case in the civil rights movement of the 60s as well.

    The conflict among Christian groups is particularly interesting because their own theology is poorly understood and executed.

    Jesus of Nazareth was, by any objective account a radical who lived strictly by some Jewish laws and expressly rejected others to the outrage of the ancient religious institutions.

    Appropriate to the issue at hand, Jesus talked with, shared meals with, and embraced classes of peoples rejected as unclean or unworthy by their actions, their circumstances, or their nature. He also spoke and taught in similitude and presented that the kingdom of God is for all humankind, not just one group or another.

    There are persons and groups that interpret and live out the above in a more consistent and credible fashion than others.

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