Jon Huntsman calls supporting the freedom to marry ‘a conservative cause’
February 21, 2013
Today, Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah, U.S. ambassador, business executive, and prominent conservative politician, published an editorial in The American Conservative calling marriage for same-sex couples a "conservative cause." He 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. I've been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.
All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall. This does not mean that any religious group would 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.
Marriage is not an issue that people rationalize through the abstract lens of the law; rather it is something understood emotionally through one's own experience with family, neighbors, and friends. The party of Lincoln should stand with our best tradition of equality and support full civil marriage for all Americans.
Leadership committee members of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, a coalition working to amplify and build support for the freedom to marry among young-Republicans, libertarians, and right-of-center advocates across the country, applauded Huntsman for his support and for making the case for marriage. The leadership committee explained:
Like a growing number of conservatives, Jon Huntsman believes in fairness and freedom and has come to agree that nothing short of marriage for same-sex couples can fulfill these basic principles. Ensuring the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian people promotes America's conservative values of limited government, individual responsibility, and our foundation of liberty and justice for all. We urge other conservatives to complete their own journeys towards support for the freedom to marry and to stand on the right side of history.
In the past year, we've seen more conservatives and Republicans than ever before express their support for the freedom to marry. Since July, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry has been making the case that they support marriage for same-sex couples because of their conservative values rather than in spite of them.