Jon Huntsman to GOP: Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause

In an online essay, the former presidential candidate explains why his party should go gay.

As we lurch toward the March 1st sequester amid endless finger-pointing (Obama to GOP: “You want to throw poor people under the bus!” GOP to Obama: “You want to throw rich people under the bus!”), that rarest of birds has come out of its nest to offer a glimmer of hope for the future: the well-reasoned conservative.

As a demo gays may be a firmly Democratic lot, but the truth is half the country isn’t, and won’t be, probably ever. If we have any hope of ever breaking out of this awful paralysis that threatens our collective future, red state and blue, it’s going to have be done by somebody—anybody—having the guts to stand up and speak out and say, “This is nuts. The other side has some good points.”

Enter Jon Huntsman, the intelligent, interesting, and provocative former governor of Utah and ambassador to China who, naturally, got clobbered in the GOP primaries for President last year. (Because really, who wants those qualities in a presidential candidate when there’s… Mitt Romney?) In a fantastic essay for The American Conservative online yesterday, he laid out a convincing argument to the party of Reagan about why it should back gay marriage. Yes, gay marriage.

No, it’s no enough. And yes, he may be, for the moment at least, the canary in the coal mine. But we should be thankful that at least someone on the right other than that fabulous Ted Olsen is standing up for the LGBT community when it comes to this issue. It almost makes you weepy to think what might happen if his fellow GOPers actually took the time to listen.

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  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    The GOP may not “Go Gay” anytime soon … but sooner or later they’ll have to come to grips with the fact that vilifying Gay Americans is no longer a vote-getter for them. Back in 2009 a CBS News survey found that while only 18% of Americans over the age of 65 supported marriage equality for Gay couples, 41% of American under the age of 45 supported it. That was FOUR YEARS AGO, and the generational shift in attitudes among young people toward their Gay friends and family members is accelerating.

    Even conservative columnist Andrew Stuttaford grudgingly acknowledged this: “I fully understand (even if I do not agree with) the idea that same-sex unions are a threat to conventional marriage and I fully understand those who argue that opposition to gay marriage is a fundamental principle too important to be abandoned for reasons of political expediency, but these findings should, I reckon, at least be some sort of warning to those who assume that the GOP’s current position on this issue will continue to be a vote-winner.”.

    30 years ago most Americans were not aware of any Gay friends, family members, or co-workers. Today most Americans ARE aware, and they have become dramatically more accepting and supportive of the Gay people and Gay couples in their lives. And social networking sites like Facebook have made the proverbial “closet” virtually obsolete. The Republican Party ignores this growing acceptance at their own peril. The economy is important, yes… but your friends are PERSONAL.