A former political adviser to Huntsman labeled him “fiscally conservative and socially libertarian” and said the stance is an attempt to re-brand himself by making gay marriage a Republican issue. “He wants to own it,” said the adviser, who asked not to be named.
The news that Huntsman backs gay marriage is expected to help bring attention to the needs of Utah’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Equality Utah Executive Director Brandie Balken said.
“If nothing else, this should stimulate some dialogue,” she said. Because Utah's Constitution was amended to ban gay marriage and similar relationships, Balken said the organization is focused on extending anti-discrimination protections for housing and employment.
Attempts to reach Huntsman were unsuccessful.
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