Of all the candidates in Saturday night’s ABC News /Yahoo!/WMUR-TV New Hampshire Republican primary debate, Jon Huntsman offered the best (and most coherent) statement on state recognition of same-sex relationships:
Well, personally, I think civil unions are fair. I support them. I think there’s such a thing as equality under the law.
I’m a married man. I’ve been married for 28 years. I have seven kids. Glad we’re off the contraception discussion.
Fifteen minutes’ worth, by the way. And I don’t feel that my relationship is at all threatened by civil unions. On — on marriage, I’m a traditionalist. I think that ought to be saved for one man and one woman, but I believe that civil unions are fair. And I think it brings a level of dignity to relationships. And I believe in reciprocal beneficiary rights. I think they should be part of civil unions, as well. And states ought to be able to talk about this. I think it’s very — I think it’s absolutely appropriate.
Even though he favors the traditional definition of marriage, he believes the state should recognize — and offer benefits to — same-sex civil unions. Important for us to recognize that someone can oppose gay marriage while also supporting benefits for same-sex couples.
It would be nice if more Republicans could adopt Huntsman’s stand. Kudos to the Utah Republican for clearly — unambiguously — articulating his support for civil unions.