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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In his attempt to woo independent voters in his gubernatorial campaign, Peter Cooke's announcement that he is opposed to gay marriage was quite unnecessary ("Cooke distances himself from Dems on gay marriage, abortion," Tribune, Aug. 14).

Only aliens from outer space wouldn't know that elephants will roost in the treetops before our Utah Legislature would voluntarily enact laws that affirm the right of all of our citizens to equal protection under the law. And there is no indication that independent voters are any more in favor of, or against, gay marriage than the rest of the electorate.

Unfortunately, the focus on gay marriage is one more desperate tactic to divert attention from the real issues that truly threaten the well-being of our nation and state. By pandering to the supposed biases of voters, both parties avoid articulating the hard choices that we face to resolve those serious issues.

One can only wonder whether independent voters are truly undecided about the issues, uninformed or simply put off by the candidates' failure to address them clearly and decisively.

Rodney Johnson

Farmington

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