Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said Utahns need to continue the pursuit of equality under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, but he fell short of endorsing marriage equality. Huntsman was the featured speaker at the Equality Utah Allies Dinner on Sept. 27 in Salt Lake City where he told the group of 2,000 attendees he was honored to be present.
“Sometimes it might not happen as fast as everyone would like, but you keep at it and you stay focused on the goal, which is equality under the law,” he said.
In 2009, Huntsman went against Republican establishment and voiced his support of civil unions and a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance protecting against bias for LGBT people in the workplace and housing. During his bid for the presidency, Huntsman defended his support of civil unions but insisted that he believed marriage is an institution best reserved for a man and a woman.
A national Gallup poll indicated that after President Barack Obama announced he support marriage equality 51 percent of Americans agreed with him while only 45 percent were opposed. Only 28 percent of Utahns support gay marriage and 43 percent support civil unions, according to a recent poll. All together, 71 percent of Utahns support some form of recognition for gay couples, up from 46 percent in 2004.