2012 Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has a message for the GOP: it's time to evolve on marriage equality.
In an editorial for the American Conservative, the former Utah governor said he now backs marriage equality because it's "the right thing to do," and warned fellow Republicans that the party will continue to lose national elections if they don't adapt to the "marketplace of ideas."
"Marriage is not an issue that people rationalize through the abstract lens of the law; rather it is something understood emotionally through one’s own experience with family, neighbors, and friends," Huntsman wrote. "The American people will not hear us out if we stand against their friends, family, and individual liberty,"
While governor of Utah, Huntsman supported civil unions, but hasn't come up in favor of full marriage equality until today.
"Civil unions, I believed, were a practical step that would bring all citizens more fully into the fabric of a state they already were—and always had been—a part of," he explained. "That was four years ago. Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry."
Unfortunately, the GOP has a long way to go to support marriage equality. As Think Progress notes, Republicans in Congress are still resolutely defending the Defense Of Marriage Act, which denies equal rights to gay couples in areas ranging from immigration to federal health care benefits.