Huntsman: Why the Right Should Back Gay Marriage Jon Huntsman: Civil equality is a conservative value By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Feb 22, 2013 6:29 AM CST 217 comments Comments Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman announces he is ending his presidential campaign, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in Myrtle Beach, SC. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (Newser) – Conservatives have fallen out of step with the present moment on a range of issues, Jon Huntsman writes in the American Conservative: "The marketplace of ideas will render us irrelevant, and soon, if we are not honest about our time and place in history." And that means more than "cosmetic" solutions to winning votes—it's time for "a hard look" at modern conservatism. The first step: "Consistent with the Republican Party’s origins, we must demand equality under the law for all Americans." The right needs to push for marriage equality alongside the nine states that have granted it, the former presidential candidate argues. As a happily married man, Huntsman notes that "there is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love." That doesn't require trampling on religious beliefs; religious groups wouldn't have to recognize relationships they oppose, even if the state does. "The party of Lincoln should stand with our best tradition of equality and support full civil marriage for all Americans." Click for the full piece.