Utah gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke has rejected his party platform's stance on gay marriage.

Over the weekend, the Democratic Party Platform Committee approved a platform which includes for the first time a gay marriage plank. Democrats will gather on September 3 in Charlotte to vote on the platform.

Cooke, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), said that he supported “Utah values” and that his opposition to marriage equality stems from his faith. The Mormon Church actively supported passage of Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban, and has been accused of supporting groups which oppose the legalization of gay nuptials.

“To me gay marriage is part of my religious belief and I support that and I respect other religious beliefs and I support and love those who are in the gay community,” Cooke told The Salt Lake Tribune. “I think what needs to be done in Utah is for us to all live together, be compassionate. That's what the Democratic Party is showing.”

Cooke told the paper that he opposes civil unions and a woman's right to an abortion, but backed allowing gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children.