< Previous Page
"I think this registers nationally because it’s giving more and more people, prominent Republicans in politics who have had a quiet opinion about marriage, a right to speak out and say what they have been saying privately for years," Dabakis said.
But backing civil unions likely cost Huntsman votes in his White House bid; the ex-governor was trounced in the New Hampshire primary, where he made his largest push.
Supporting gay marriage could further alienate GOP primary voters should Huntsman try for the presidency again. He hasn’t ruled out another bid.
The ex-governor’s choice for announcing his new-found support for same-sex marriage was also interesting: The American Conservative magazine, founded in part by ex-presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, and devoted to finding an "intellectual home for serious, independent-minded conservatives."
Huntsman on Thursday also called on his party to refuse to tolerate those within its ranks who "want Hispanic votes but not Hispanic neighbors," and that the GOP needed to lead on reforming drug policies.
"If conservatives come to the table with solutions that put our communities first," Huntsman said, "it will go a long way toward winning elections."
Robert Gehrke contributed to this story.
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.