Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. will formally declare for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination on Tuesday.

“I intend to announce that I will be a candidate for the presidency a week from today,” Huntsman said at an event yesterday.

Huntsman will make his announcement near the Statue of Liberty, Reuters reported.

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 left on April 30.

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.

Huntsman's support for gay rights, in particular civil unions, puts him in the minority among the 9 declared candidates. While former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson also supports civil unions, and openly gay Fred Karger supports gay marriage, five candidates – Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – support an amendment to the constitution that would ban gay marriage, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain has said being gay is a “sin,” and Texas Rep. Ron Paul does not support government recognition of gay and lesbian unions.