Mormon, Republican governor of Utah expresses support for civil unions


February 15, 2009 by The Mormon Worker

This week I was happy to see that Governor Huntsman has expressed support for civil unions, which are currently banned in Utah. Huntsman is close with the leadership of the LDS Church, and perhaps had their explicit approval to support this position. Hopefully things will continue to move in a more positive direction than previously. The Salt Lake Tribune reports: 

Here is a sentence you probably never expected to read: Utah’s governor supports civil unions. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., a spokeswoman said Monday, backs Equality Utah’s Common Ground Initiative, a legislative effort that would provide some rights to gay and transgender Utahns. Even more, the Republican governor favors civil unions. It’s a position that runs counter to his political party and against the majority of Utahns — 70 percent of whom oppose civil unions, according to a recent Salt Lake Tribune poll. “He’s long supported many of the ideas that are presented within the Common Ground Initiative,” said Lisa Roskelley, the governor’s spokeswoman, noting her boss waits to endorse specific bills officially until presented to him in final form. “He supports civil unions.” It’s doubtful Huntsman’s backing will lead to civil unions getting past the conservative Legislature. And it may not help the rest of this year’s gay-rights legislative push, which already has shrunk from four bills to two.


4 thoughts on “Mormon, Republican governor of Utah expresses support for civil unions

  1. Is Huntsman LDS? I don’t live in UT, so I’m not familiar with him.

  2. Grégoire says:

    Is Huntsman LDS? I don’t live in UT, so I’m not familiar with him.

    The original John Huntsman is a very devout member of the LDS church. The governor is either his son or his grandson, so I’m assuming he’s at least a member of record, if not religious.

    In the early 1990s I was struggling to put myself through school and had a part time gig as a security guard. I got hired to hang out in one of Huntsman’s houses on the east bench of SLC on a series of consecutive weekends. While he’s one of our class enemies (LOL!) he’s also a genuinely good guy, who did a lot of charity work and went out of his way to fund various social programs for sick children and like that.

    He was quite aged at the time so he might be gone now, but he’s one of the more memorable people I met in Utah, if only briefly and in passing.

  3. Brooke says:

    We ought to just have civil unions for everyone and leave marriage as a private arrangement. Government should get out of marriage, which is a religious institution. The rights/benefits that are afforded to married couples should be reassigned to people who choose to associate themselves in the economic unit of a civil union.

  4. Forest Simmons says:

    When the resurrected Jesus appeared to the Nephites and Lamanites in Bountiful, his first doctrinal comment was that contending over the ordinance of baptism was worse than being on the wrong side of the argument.

    Proposition 8 caused so much contention in California that I wonder if Church leaders have any regrets about their public support of it.

    If we took Brooke’s suggestion, then there would be no point in governments constraining the ordinance of marriage. Religions could define marriage according to their own beliefs, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    All of that contention could have been avoided.

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