Although the Democratic Party has officially endorsed gay marriage, not all Democrat politicians have gotten on board with the party platform.
Peter Cooke, the Democratic candidate for governor in Utah, said his religious beliefs lead him to oppose gay marriage, as well as civil unions.
Cooke is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the same religion as Mitt Romney), which opposes same-sex marriage. From The Salt Lake City Tribune:
“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,” Cooke said. “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.”
More than 60% of Utah’s population belongs to the LDS, or Mormon religion.
A May Gallup poll showed that nearly two-thirds (65%) of Democrats believe in legalizing gay marriage, compared to 57% of independents, and 22% of Republicans.
The poll also demonstrated that non-religious Americans overwhelmingly support gay marriage (88%), while those who attend weekly religious services are less likely to (31%).
Cooke, of course, is not the only Democratic politician to oppose gay marriage. There’s Mark Clayton who is running for Senate in Tennessee, and Rep. Joe Donnelly in Indiana who is challenging Tea Party darling Richard Mourdock for Sen. Dick Lugar’s old seat, as well as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Other Democrats facing tough re-elections in moderate or conservative regions have simply kept mum.