About 20 conservative legislators rallied with the Sutherland Institute, Eagle Forum and the Utah Coalition for Traditional Families at the Utah Capitol Building Wednesday afternoon in response to this week’s revelation that Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman favors Equality Utah’s Common Ground Initiative and civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
Equality Utah was quick to respond with a press conference of their own moments later.
“Seventy percent of all Utahns oppose civil unions,” Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman said to the crowd of about 60 rally-goers and news people. “We are here today to say to the citizens of this state, ‘we hear you, we stand with you, and we will defend your values.'”
“Lets save the discussion on civil unions and domestic partnerships for another day,” said Mike Thompson, executive director of Equality Utah. “Today, let’s focus on the 80 percent of Utahns who support basic rights for gay and transgendered Utahns.”
“Equality Utah specifically dropped its bill regarding the second portion of Amendment 3 to focus energy where common ground is clear,” Thompson said.
The governor announced through a spokesperson on Monday that he is in support of civil unions and that should a civil union bill reach his desk, he would sign it. Hunstman also invited the Utah Log Cabin Republicans to the governor’s mansion late last year and expressed support for basic civil rights for gay and lesbian people.