Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (R) — who is seeking the GOP’s presidential nomination — reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage during an appearance on CNN this afternoon, but said states should be allowed to pass marriage equality laws. Huntsman’s remarks are likely to ruffle the fathers of fellow 2012 candidate Rick Santorum, who recently lashed out at Texas Governor Rick Perry for also suggesting that he was “fine” with New York’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
BLITZER: Would you agree that states like New York or Iowa should have the right — if they want to have gay marriage, they should have that right?
HUNTSMAN: Of course, that’s absolutely their right. This is an issue that’s more and more should be driven at the state level.
Huntsman is one of the few Republican presidential hopefuls to support civil unions and reciprocal beneficiary rights for same-sex couples, and has even reached out to LGBT groups in Utah. Huntsman first embraced civil unions in February 2009, despite supporting a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage in 2004.