Utah Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Chooses Mormon Values Over His Party’s, Shuns ‘Gay Marriage’

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke said on Monday that he opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, as well as "abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother", telling voters that he was aligning with the LDS church and "Utah values" rather than those of his party, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

CookeCooke said his opposition to gay marriage stems from his faith ­— he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has actively opposed same-sex unions in California and elsewhere — but he supports a state law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, which the church has also supported.

"To me gay marriage is part of my religious belief and I support that and I respect other religious beliefs and I support and love those who are in the gay community," Cooke said. "I think what needs to be done in Utah is for us to all live together, be compassionate. That’s what the Democratic Party is showing."

Cooke said he made the statements in order to have a "substantive debate" with his opponent Gov. Gary Herbert.


  1. Michaelandfred says

    Live together, be compassionate, me with my rights, you with…well, without any. But remember “I Love You.” That must count for something, right?

  2. Jay says

    The two candidates can have a “substantive debate” while agreeing that gay people should not have equal rights. They only disagree about how wide they should grin when they say that.

  3. Rob says

    Hahahaha! I believe in unicorns, fairies, vampires, and frosty the snowman. That’s why I don’t believe in you having equal rights. But I love the gay community and I want your vote. = Mormans and their made up religion. Crazy huh!

  4. Pete N SFO says

    Another example of why politicians are so gross… and he’s probably a lawyer as well.

    You’d think, by now, people would understand that marriage-equality has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with law.

  5. HadenoughBS says

    Another anti-gay Mormon politician aligning himself with the anti-gay stance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? And a Utah “Mormon Democrat” to boot?? Will the world cease to rotate or the sun rise in the West??? (yawn)

  6. Rob says

    In watching the Olympics closing ceremony, specifically the video tribute to John Lennon, I was struck by the wisdom and courage of the line in Imagine, “and no religion too.”

    This is all such stupid and selective use of religion (I seem to recall being taught about “thou shalt not kill” in the indoctrination attempt – how are they reconciling that one in the military?

    Besides, somehow the LDS at one point accepted, maybe even encouraged, polygamy – what happened to the my beliefs/public will balance on that one?

  7. Tom in long beach says

    I am just shaking my head! “My religion tells me you should be treated like a second class citizen. My religion tells me I should cling to what is not even a first century understanding of sexuality, just like the medieval catholic church hung to a belief that the world was flat and the stars and moon revolved around it! My religion tells me I should not challenge church leaders when they are being unfair and are trying to do damage to the separation of church and state.”

  8. Lymis says

    What about a (redundant and unnecessary, but nonetheless valid) statement like “I fully support robust protections against religious organizations being forced to conduct religious ceremonies they disapprove of, and I also support full civil equality for all citizens.”

    Your Mormon beliefs are welcome to include the idea that someone in a same-sex civil marriage isn’t okay with God, but not that people should be legally prevented from making civil choices your religion disapproves of.

    Because really, what’s next? Non-Mormons shouldn’t be allowed to own property? Straight non-Mormons can’t get married? Polygamy should be legal? (Oh, wait…)

  9. chuck says

    Typical ‘Dixie-Crat’…stayed in the Democratic Party until Reagan and then switched en-mass to the Repugs…showing their real political leanings. So would Democrats elect Stalin or Hitler?

  10. Andy says

    There should be room for disagreement in a political party, however, it is incumbent on Cooke’s Democratic peers to continue a dialogue with him about how his words and actions negatively affect his constituents.

  11. andrew says

    @Matt Munson: A vote for the green party or libertarian party or any other third party is a thrown away vote. Like it or not the USA is an overwhelmingly two party nation. Pick the one closest to your beliefs. There are 100 U S Senators, 99 of them are either democrats or republicans. The 100th Bernie Sanders identifies as a socialist and votes almost always with the democrats. Don’t throw away your vote, choose the candidate closest to your ideology.

  12. andrew says

    It makes about as much sense taking marriage advice from a Mormon as it does taking advice about celebacy from a Roman Catholic priest.WIVES OR ALTAR BOYS FOR EVERONE!!!

  13. lookyloo says

    I never understand why, in these people’s mind, the innocent embryo/fetus/unborn-child that is the product of rape or incest is acceptable to kill but not other unwanted embryos/fetuses/unborn-children.

    Is the rape/incest fetus somehow not an innocent life like other fetuses? What did it do that makes is deserve to be murdered?

    (not my views. my questions of some anti-abortion views)

  14. Libertario says

    @Andrew, who wrote: “Don’t throw away your vote, choose the candidate closest to your ideology.”

    Voting your conscience is not throwing away your vote.

    And in Utah, the Democrat is not going to win the governor’s race, so if there is another candidate on the ballot “closest to your ideology,” express your ideological preference most clearly by voting for that candidate.

    Voting for the lesser of two evils sends an unclear message.

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