Utah Gov. Gary Herbert spoke out against gay marriage after President Barack Obama announced his support and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke joined him in opposing marriage equality. However, Cooke reiterated his stance supporting a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and in housing.
“Marriage is the recognized union between one man and one woman only. That is all that needs to be said,” Herbert’s statement reads.
He has also said he supports Utah’s Amendment 3, which bans gay marriages in Utah and that he does not support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
Cooke, on the other hand, told Fox 13 News, he supports, “Not discriminating against anybody for their race, color, creed, religion, gender or sexual preference… Never had an issue in 39 years in the Army of any kind of discrimination. I wouldn’t put up with it, period.”
While failing to support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, Cooke added that he has a gay brother and a gay brother-in-law and hopes that he does not face or see any more discrimination.
In addition to opposing marriage equality, Cooke has declined to comment on whether he supports updating Utah law to allow for gay couples to jointly adopt children in the state.
Cooke is trying to make ethical governing and a focus on job growth the primary issues in his campaign.
“We live in a time when jobs and investment capital move around the globe at the speed of light. We live in a time when Utah is changing faster than at any time in our lives,” Cooke said. “Utah will need real leadership – stronger leadership – to guarantee Utah’s prosperity in the 21st century, and we need it now.”