Presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman on
Wednesday backed away from an apparent endorsement of gay marriage.
Huntsman, who on Tuesday formally
declared for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination at a press
conference held in New Jersey near the Statue of Liberty, has
previously supported recognizing gay and lesbian couples with civil
When reporters on Tuesday asked the
former Utah governor whether as president he would attempt to
override a gay marriage law in New York with a constitutional
amendment banning such marriages, the 51-year-old Republican replied,
“I would respect the state's decision on that,” The
But Huntsman reversed course on
Wednesday during an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
The GOP moderate said: “I think
redefining marriage is something that would be impossible and it's
something I would not be in favor of. But I believe, just
subordinate to marriage we have not done an adequate job in the area
of equality and reciprocal rights. I've spoken out about that, my
support of civil unions, some people like it, some people don't.”
(The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
President Barack Obama appointed
Huntsman, a Mormon, to Ambassador to China, a post he left in April.
Among declared GOP candidates, former
Mexico Governor Gary Johnson also supports civil unions and
openly gay Fred
Karger supports gay marriage.