Republican Utah Governor Huntsman comes out in support of civil unions, LGBT legislative initiatives
February 10, 2009
"He's long supported many of the ideas that are presented within the Common Ground Initiative," said Lisa Roskelley, the governor's spokeswoman, noting her boss waits to endorse specific bills officially until presented to him in final form. "He supports civil unions." ... Of the remaining Common Ground bills, one would make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being gay or transgender. The other would allow two, unmarried cohabiting adults to file a "declaration of joint support" with their county recorder and gain benefits of inheritance and medical-decision making. "We appreciate that the governor sees these are common-sense solutions to problems that Utahns are facing," said Will Carlson, Equality Utah's public-policy manager. "We'll take all the help we can get."
According to the article, the governor's spokeswoman also said that Huntsman favors repealing the section of Amendment 3, the state's constitutional anti-LGBT marriage ban, that prevents the state from recognizing civil unions. Huntsman originally supported the ban when he ran for governor in 2004. This is huge news. We look forward to hearing more from the governor himself regarding his support for LGBT civil rights legislation... **UPDATE** Joe Solmonese issued this statement today:
This is hopeful and inspiring news, and emphasizes the reality that, as we saw in Wyoming last week, equality is not a partisan issue. We’re thrilled that Gov. Huntsman recognizes that it’s simply the right thing to do to support equality. We hope that his support will help Equality Utah and fair-minded legislators advance the Common Ground Initiative, which is simply aimed at advancing equal rights for all Utahns by providing important anti-discrimination protections and other rights currently denied to LGBT people in the state.