Jon Huntsman urges Republicans to support same-sex marriage

Chris Moody
Political Reporter
The Ticket

Republican former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is urging Republicans to support same-sex marriage, calling the effort "a conservative cause." The stance is a reversal, as he had reaffirmed his opposition to extending marriage rights to gays as late as 2011.

Huntsman outlined his case in the American Conservative magazine on Thursday:

[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.

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.

In an MSNBC interview two years ago, Huntsman, who has long supported civil unions for same-sex couples, had said, "Redefining marriage is something that would be impossible, and it's something that I would not be in favor of."