Monday, February 16, 2009

Utahans and World Shocked: Gov. Huntsman Supports Civil Unions

How did I just hear about this today?! So Friday the governor of one of the most conservative states in the country was like, "Fuck y'all, I'm not running here again, and the truth is I'm all about the gays. Gotcha!" And according to Atlantic Monthly, he's also supporting "a bill to allow two unmarried, co-cohabiting adults to sign a joint-support declaration to gain inheritance rights and medical-decision making for one another, as well as a bill to outlaw employment and housing discrimination for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people." Despite his change of heart, he's still dealing with a mostly homophobic/heteronormitive legislature, so perhaps not much will Utah.

No one can be sure who slipped Huntsman the LSD/Ecstasy combo that would be required to get the governor, who ran on a staunch anti-gay platform in '04, to make all of this progressive noise, and it's too early to tell what will come of this. Most are thinking presidential bid for 2012, though, and to me that spells out Republican Splinter harder than any action of a GOP politician yet. My hopes are that the next general election will be the official Repub Civil War and the Dems will go chuckling right back into the White House, and Congress.

Who knows what exactly is rattling around in Huntsman's brain, but whether it's legitimate support for the GLBT community, or it's a political stunt trying to match what he views as an upcoming change in the tides, this is a win-win for everyone (that's not a jerk). We're either looking at a future of Republican supported gay rights legislation, or gay rights legislation by way of the Republican party collapsing in on itself. Either way, I like where this is going, and I can't wait to hear more.


tinylisa said...

I'd like to point out that "two unmarried co-habitating adults" could easily translate to other social groups, which may be what's happening here. I mean, (and not to stereotype all Utah residents) If a Mormon were to have 2+ wives but only one had any legal rights under the law, this civil union would allow the 2nd (and so on) wife to also have some legal rights. Just a thought.

Lucé said...

haha - true, that is not something I thought of. I have only a minimal understanding of the LDS church, but I thought current good standing Mormens were now against polygamy and only the fringe ones did that behind closed doors.

tinylisa said...

From what I've read, many mainstream Mormons are openly against polygamy but are for it or understanding of it in private. Not that this is the motivation for the legislation for sure. Just an idea.