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Utah Governor on Gay Rights: 'I've Always Thought We Were Behind'

Politico interviewed Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. and asked him about his recent statements in support of Equality Utah's recently failed gay rights 'Common Ground Initiative' and same-sex civil unions:

HuntsmanPOLITICO: You’ve changed your position on gay rights. What prompted that?

HUNTSMAN, JR: Well, I’ve always been in favor of greater equality. My first year in office I ran a…reciprocal beneficiary rights piece of legislation. It failed, but my first year in office I wanted to see if we could do more in the name of individual rights. And I’ve always thought that we were a little bit behind in terms of equality for people born under the same constitution.

POLITICO: In December you talked about people 40 and under having a very different view on the environment. Is there a similar generational gap on gay rights?

HUNTSMAN, JR: You hit on the two issues that I think carry more of a generational component than anything else. And I would liken it a bit to the transformation of the Tory Party in the UK…They went two or three election cycles without recognizing the issues that the younger citizens in the UK really felt strongly about. They were a very narrow party of angry people. And they started branching out through, maybe, taking a second look at the issues of the day, much like we’re going to have to do for the Republican Party, to reconnect with the youth, to reconnect with people of color, to reconnect with different geographies that we have lost.

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  1. Wow, a reasonable politician from Utah!!!

    Posted by: homer | Feb 24, 2009 11:10:24 AM

  2. Use that brain, man!

    Posted by: Nick | Feb 24, 2009 11:13:17 AM

  3. More on the Buttars issue:

    Posted by: andres | Feb 24, 2009 11:14:11 AM

  4. Is he angling to lose his next election or is he term-limited? Cause he's making far too much sense to lead Utah of all states.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 24, 2009 11:24:42 AM

  5. This is what the future of the Republican Party -- and the beginning of the victory of our civil rights struggle -- looks like.

    Posted by: Pender | Feb 24, 2009 11:29:01 AM

  6. He is also a Mormon in good standing, proving that not all members of the LDS Church are bigots. You should also know that a demonstration has been planned this Saturday at the State capitol building to support further action against Senator Buttars.

    Posted by: Brandon | Feb 24, 2009 11:33:22 AM

  7. He also supports the stimulus

    (govs)Anold, Crist, Huntsman + (senate) Collins, Snowe, Specter + (bunches of state legislator repubs) = the salvation of the repub party

    I would not be surprised to see the above people become the future repub party post 2010. The smartest thing is for them to allow 2010 to wipe out the rest of the religous nuts, racists, and tax cut cure all for anything crowd.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Feb 24, 2009 11:52:20 AM

  8. I wonder what the Utah govenor has to say about the disgusting comments made by senator butthole, I mean senator buttcrack, I mean senator butthead, I mean buttars. Oh me and my silly computer keyboard, never types what I intend it to type.

    Posted by: matthew | Feb 24, 2009 11:53:13 AM

  9. PS


    Huntsman is much beloved in Utah. If for no other reason than his family's financial support for the Huntsman cancer institute.

    Like Crist he is seeing a HUGE upswing in polling numbers thanks to moving closer to Obama's stands on many issues. Not as lefty as Chaffe was but very much a reasonable repub who actually believes in science and practical solutions.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Feb 24, 2009 11:54:38 AM

  10. @JIMMYBOYO - then there's hope yet! Thanks for the info.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 24, 2009 12:03:53 PM

  11. yeah, if they play their cards right.

    Work with Obama and step aside to allow the righty nuts to destroy themselves in 2010.

    I can respect (disagree with though) and see working with real HONEST and intelligent fiscal conservatives. An intelligent (currently far from that) opposition party helps refine the dems. Currently though the nuts only make it easy for dems to look good with no real challenge.

    Good luck to the Governator, Crist, Huntsman, Snowe, Collins, Specter,and the bunch of little guys in state houses in turning their party into a real and inteligent opposition party.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Feb 24, 2009 12:27:07 PM

  12. I really like this Governor. There's new hope for Utah, yet!

    Posted by: SB | Feb 24, 2009 1:00:42 PM

  13. Governor Huntsman is the most popular politician in the country right now with approval ratings above 80%. Even after making the statement he did about civil unions, his numbers stayed in the same range.

    If only our legislature was as moderate as our sensible Guv.

    Posted by: Nate in SLC | Feb 24, 2009 3:35:41 PM

  14. BOYCOTT UTAH und MORMON OWNED BUSINESSES! That is assisting those fighting for equality in Utah.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 24, 2009 3:44:16 PM

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