Peter Cooke, Utah’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, has distanced himself from the social issue planks of the party’s national platform. Vowing to represent “Utah values” in accordance with his membership in the Mormon Church, Cooke declared his opposition to same-sex marriage, civil unions, and a woman’s right to choose:
COOKE: 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. 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.
On abortion, Cooke tow’s the Church’s position that women should only be allowed to terminate a pregnancy in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger. Despite his opposition to recognizing same-sex couples’ relationships, he does support allowing them to adopt children, which is currently prohibited under Utah state law. Just last month, a poll found that 71 percent of Utah voters support either civil unions or marriage equality for same-sex couples, demonstrating growing support: