Jon Huntsman Won't Attend Gay Award Event, Cites Scheduling Conflicts

Gay rights groups plan to honor Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman with the 2009 Pete Suazo Political Action Award. But the governor probably won't be there to accept it.

"I don't believe he's going to be able to participate," Huntsman spokeswoman Lisa Roskelley said, blaming a scheduling conflict. She dismissed any suggestion he was reluctant to be recognized publicly for his stand on gay rights.

"He's certainly not shy," Roskelley said. "It's just that his schedule is such that he's unable to participate in every event that he's asked to."

Huntsman, a Republican, has backed same-sex civil unions and supported gay rights throughout his career.

Representatives from various LGBT organizations, including the Utah chapters of the Stonewall Democrats, Log Cabin Republicans, Human Rights Campaign, the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah took part in the selection of Governor Huntsman for the award.

Past winners include former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and State House Minority Leader David Litvak.