Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Thursday came out in favor of gay marriage in an article titled, “Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause.”
“There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love,” Huntsman wrote in an article in The American Conservative.
Huntsman pointed out that as governor of Utah, he supported civil unions and reciprocal benefits for gay residents.
“That was four years ago,” Huntsman wrote. “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.”
Added Huntsman: “I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life.”
While supporting gay marriage, Huntsman said religious groups should not “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,” he said.
“All Americans should be treated equally by the law,” he continued, “whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall.”