Cooke’s Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions Met with Some Disappointment

(KCPW News) With the Democratic Party moving to endorse same-sex marriage nationally, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke made it clear Monday he’s not on the same page.

“It’s nothing that I committed to do. In fact before I ran I talked to the gay community and explained what my position was because in no way did I want to be hypocritical. But it stands with my religious beliefs and I know that the gay community can respect that and I respect their positions,” Cooke says.

Cooke, who’s a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also announced he does not support civil unions, but says he does think same-sex couples should have the right to adopt, and that there should be a statewide antidiscrimination law for the LGBT community.

The announcement surprised many of his supporters, like Patrick Jones, who posted to Cooke’s campaign Facebook page that he will now be looking for another candidate.

“As a national platform, the Democrats are supporting gay marriage, and how a person who wants to be the governor of one of our states cannot support something that is so important to our Democratic Party and our national sense of who we are just seems so backward and wrong, and makes for someone I don’t want to support,” he tells KCPW.

Despite Cooke’s stance, Equality Utah announced it is still endorsing him for Governor. A recent analysis by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University found the majority of Utah voters do either support same-sex marriage or civil unions, with only 29 percent believing they shouldn’t be given any legal recognition.