The Kent County GOP–led by Party Chairman Joanne Voorhees–canceled a planned appearance by Utah Governor Jon Huntsman after learning that he supports civil unions for gay couples.
According to media reports, Voorhees canceled the talk because Huntsman’s views are inconsistent with those of Republicans in Kent County:
“After conducting further research on the Governor and his change in position on issues, we feel it is best to cancel our event,” wrote Vorhees in an email obtained by the Fix. She added that “voters want and expect us to stand on principle and return to our roots . . . unfortunately, by holding an event with Governor Huntsman, we would be doing the exact opposite.”
The Grand Rapids Press said that Voorhees cited the recent anti-tax “Tea Parties” as examples of what the party’s grassroots supports.
Anti-gay activist Gary Glenn praised the decision, saying that “grass-roots conservatives will not embrace liberals who want to abandon the GOP platform’s commitment to traditional family values in favor of promoting homosexual activists’ incremental assault on religious freedom, marriage and the family.”
In an apparent attempt at saving face, The Grand Rapids Press is reporting that Michigan Republican Chairman Ron Weiser has arranged for Governor Huntsman to meet “party faithful” Saturday morning in Grand Rapids despite the cancelation of his planned talk. According to The Press, some in the Republican Party are upset by Joanne Voorhees decision to cancel the talk.