2012 Election | Gay Marriage | Jon Huntsman | New York | News | Republican Party

Former Utah Governor Huntsman Gets into 2012 GOP Race, Says He 'Would Respect' NY Marriage Equality Passage: VIDEO

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who in 2009 spoke out for Equality Utah's failed 'Common Ground' initiative, officially entered the 2012 race for President today. Huntsman made his announcement at Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

Huntsman Writes Sam Stein at the HuffPost:

Speaking to reporters on the day of his campaign launch, Huntsman was asked specifically about the growing likelihood of a same-sex marriage bill being passed in New York. Would he seek to overrule Empire State lawmakers should he end up in the Oval Office?

"I would respect the state's decision on that," he replied.

The answer, while brisk, nevertheless sets Huntsman apart from his fellow Republican presidential candidates. Other members of the field have offered sympathy for state sovereignty on matters of marriage. But they have usually couched that by saying they would support a federal ban on same-sex marriage as well.

Huntsman is receiving support from gay Republicans, Politico reports:

...on the eve of the Republican's official kickoff, a consultant for the campaign is fundraising off his support for civil unions.

The email from Charles T. Moran, a vice chair with the California Log Cabin Republicans and a political consultant, highlights Huntsman and his wife Mary Kaye's support for the LGBT community, adding as Utah's governor he's "talked the talk and walked the walk," and is "unique in his desire to have a fully inclusive campaign."

Team Huntsman confirmed Moran, who couldn't be reached, is working for the campaign. His campaign noted that his stand on gay rights is essentially what George W. Bush's was.

Watch Huntsman's announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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

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  1. At a conference over the weekend a LGBT activist from Utah made clear: He may talk a good game but DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN. He did nothing for the LGBT people of his state. Zip. Nada. It's easy for him to back off what's happening in NY, since he'd have no control over it and he doesn't want to get involved. He's the proverbial hater in queer clothing.

    Posted by: Bob Conti | Jun 21, 2011 6:51:46 PM

  2. Actually he did support legislation that would have allowed same sex marriage in the state.

    Posted by: Alex | Jun 21, 2011 7:03:14 PM

  3. That's not a surprise. He knows full well that the republican senate isn't going to pass it...

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 21, 2011 7:03:22 PM

  4. Don't be fool by so-called "moderate" republicans running for office. Once they are elected they move so far to the right that you have readjust your len. Remember Bush in 2000?

    He won't win the primary anyway since the republican party is too radicalized now to even look at him.

    Posted by: Whitebread | Jun 21, 2011 7:06:00 PM

  5. Bush in 2000? I remember Obama in 2008. And it's only Republicans you don't trust?

    Posted by: ohplease | Jun 21, 2011 7:20:16 PM

  6. Jesus christ. George Bush OPPOSED same-sex marriage. He pushed a constitutional amendment against it. Some versions he pushed would have banned recognition of CUs.

    He never, ever said he supported FEDERAL RECOGNITION of any same-sex relationship.

    Posted by: BobN | Jun 21, 2011 7:51:53 PM

  7. Never, never, never!

    Posted by: Brains | Jun 21, 2011 7:55:05 PM

  8. He has embraced the ryan kill medicare for more tax breaks for the rich and add 6 trillion to debt budget

    I'm 100% for gay marriage but if a choice between having my marriage recognized by the gov vs old people dropping dead left and right because no private insurer will ever accept a voucher to cover them....I'm going to have to go with preferring old people not dropping dead left and right due to lack of medical coverage

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv | Jun 21, 2011 7:56:20 PM

  9. I oppose his positions on many issues beyond gay rights, so I would never vote for him, but it will be very interesting to see how far this nearly extinct breed of socially moderate Republican gets in the primaries when the Republican primaries are currently ruled by rapidly anti-gay social conservatives and the right-wingnut base. Hard to imagine he'll rise out of the cheered-on homophobic pack, but he's up against a bunch of hypocritical losers, so . . .

    If he did get some traction, this would be good news for gay rights, because it would pressure weak-willed Democrats, including Obama, to make that evolution sooner rather than later. One way to get the Dem's to stop taking us for granted is to have more moderate Republicans in the race.

    So bring it on, Jon.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 21, 2011 8:27:05 PM

  10. Okay so the 50 or so "Gay Republicans" are supporting him, he only needs 44,800,950 more votes to be President. Good luck with finding them ...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Jun 21, 2011 8:32:11 PM

  11. actually, bush supported/supports civil unions...

    Posted by: bostonian | Jun 21, 2011 10:44:19 PM

  12. But, more importantly, does he know his surname is also the name for a common Australian house spider? A huntsman is pretty scary looking, yet not at all dangerous, and actually quite useful cos it eats mozzies and flies.

    But, as far as I know, it has nothing to do with frothy mixes of any sort.

    Just thought he should know.

    Posted by: Paul | Jun 21, 2011 11:14:56 PM

  13. I live in Utah and voted for him. He had a lot of Democrats vote for him. He loosened the liquor laws in spite of the Mormon church (never mind that all has been undone after he left) and supported civil unions in spite of the Mormon church. I respect him. I'm fiscally conservative, and yearn for a Republican I can support. I'd vote for him over Obama, but only him.

    Posted by: Brian | Jun 21, 2011 11:51:52 PM

  14. Interesting that my previous comment was not posted, I'm wondering what is the criteria for having them pass the censor. Was it because I said Huntsman is not bats@$t crazy like the other GOP candidates?

    Anyway, I have a lot of respect for Huntsman but will never vote for him in a general against Obama. Huntsman like the rest of the GOP field would likely appoint right-wing conservatives to the SCOTUS and implement Republican fiscal policies which I despise.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Jun 22, 2011 12:19:23 AM

  15. "actually, bush supported/supports civil unions..."

    Well, history is history, so it only matters to a point, but let's not leave out that Bush also supported a federal constitutional amendment to "protect marriage" from "activist Judges" like those in MA (in his view), opposed adoption by gay parents, supported continuing DADT, and opposed hate crimes legislation that includes gay people. Worse than almost all Democratic leaders, better than the frothingly homophobic Republican 2011 mainstream.

    How deep Huntsman's support is on gay issues will be revealed as the Republican primary season continues, and he is pressured by the right-wing-zealot base to lean anti-gay. IF--and it's a very big IF--he can hold onto his moderate stances on gay rights and actually advance nationally in his anti-gay party, then he may influence Obama and other Democrats to strengthen their positions. Until then, he's the only real-world alternative for gay Republicans but not yet a feasible alternative for the rest of us.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 22, 2011 12:27:48 AM

  16. At this point I will be voting for Huntsman in the primary. I will be voting on the economy, the economy and the economy. I could care less about his stance on gay marriage, abortion or any other social issue; although its nice to know he is for fairness and equality through Civil Unions. I will absolutely not be voting for the socialist in Chief; Obama. I would love for a libertarian to have a chance but that will never happen. Both parties are too interested in telling us how to live. One wants tell me what to do with my crotch and the other wants to get deeper in my wallet. They both suck.

    Posted by: Jason | Jun 22, 2011 10:27:42 AM

  17. Jason you are an idiot

    you have no idea what socialism is

    Eisenhower (repub) was more of a socialist than Obama

    Obama is conserve-dem to repub lite economically

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv | Jun 22, 2011 2:24:42 PM

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