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ABC News 4 - Huntsman Supports Same-sex Civil Unions

News Article

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

By Chris Vanocur

The republican governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman Jr., is dropping a big, fat political bombshell right in the middle of the state capitol.

He is endorsing same sex civil unions, and that has made Huntsman a hero to some Utahns and a traitor to others.

ABC 4 asked Huntsman, "You support civil unions?"

Gov. Jon Huntsman replied, "Well, its something I have given a lot of thought to and the answer is yes."

And no sooner had Utah's governor said that, then the state Senate's only openly gay member Scott McCoy said, "He knows the Utah legislature. He knows the Utah public. I think coming out in favor of a civil union was a courageous act."

Which in no way should be confused with this answer from the Utah Eagle Forum's Gayle Ruzicka.

ABC 4 asked Ruzicka, "Your reaction?"

Ruzicka replied, "Shame on him."

The governor told ABC 4 he's been thinking about this issue for years, and, he adds that now is the time to find common ground.

"I believe in traditional marriage. I always have. But I also believe there's more we can do in terms of enhancing those individual rights for others," said Huntsman.

On Tuesday, ABC 4 was not able to get a on-camera comment from senator Chris Buttars, but he was heard to mutter on the Senate floor, "Shocked. Shocked."

Others, though, who oppose gay marriage and civil unions did have more to say.

ABC 4 asked Ruzicka, "Why do you think he's doing this?"

Gayle Ruzicka responded, "Obama maybe? Does he want to go work for Obama?"

But the governor is stood by his position, saying, "You try and do what's right."

Which earns praise from Senator McCoy, who said, "There's a difference between a leader and a politician. And in this case, Governor Huntsman showed himself to be a leader."

And this is no longer just a Utah story as Governor Huntsman has already gotten several requests for national interviews as well.

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