Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.
is considering a run at the White House, the
reported on Tuesday.
The 51-year-old Huntsman resigned
during his second term as governor of Utah to accept President Barack
Obama's appointment as Ambassador to China, a post he's leaving on
As governor, Huntsman backed a failed
effort to extend some rights to gay men and lesbians in Utah. In
2009, the gay rights group Equality Utah introduced five bills backed
by two openly gay lawmakers. Three bills would have brought greater
equality in the areas of hospitalization, medical care, housing,
employment and probate rights. And a pair of bills would have
created a domestic partner registry for gay couples by repealing a
part of Utah's constitutional marriage amendment. Without the
support of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the
Mormons) the effort died in committee.
According to the Times,
Huntsman will begin campaigning next month in South Carolina and in
Huntsman, however, remains vague on his
intentions. Asked last week by a Salt Lake City television station
whether he planned to pursue the Republican presidential nomination,
he answered: “I don't know the answer to that yet.”
Two additional Republicans with
presidential aspirations support gay rights. Openly
gay Fred Karger was the first Republican to announce his candidacy.
And former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson announced last month
that he will run for president. While various sources, including Fox
and the New Mexico Independent, reported that Johnson is a
“strong” supporter of gay marriage, his campaign has told On
Top Magazine that he supports “unions,” not marriage, for gay
and lesbian couples.