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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Sen. Orrin Hatch says gay marriage inevitable but religious rights being lost

By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

Published: Wed, May 28 5:50 p.m. MDT

 Kat Jackson and Meredith Hendrix hold hands as they wait to be married at Unitarian Universalist Church in Lancaster,Pa., Saturday, May 24, 2014. Sen. Orrin Hatch said Wednesday that same-sex marriage seems inevitable as courts across the country rule against states that ban the practice. At the same time, the seven-term Republican senator said religious rights in America are being eroded.

Kat Jackson and Meredith Hendrix hold hands as they wait to be married at Unitarian Universalist Church in Lancaster,Pa., Saturday, May 24, 2014. Sen. Orrin Hatch said Wednesday that same-sex marriage seems inevitable as courts across the country rule against states that ban the practice. At the same time, the seven-term Republican senator said religious rights in America are being eroded.

(Dan Marschka, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Orrin Hatch said Wednesday that same-sex marriage seems inevitable as courts across the country rule against states that ban the practice.

At the same time, the seven-term Republican senator said religious rights in America are being eroded.

"Lets face it. Anybody that does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn't been observing what's going on," he said on KSL NewsRadio's "Doug Wright Show."

"The trend right now in the courts is to permit gay marriage and anybody who doesn't admit that just isn’t living in the real world."

Though Hatch said he disagrees with U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby's ruling that overturned Utah's voter-approved definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, he called him an excellent judge. He said Shelby erred in not staying his decision knowing the issue would eventually go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I disagree with him on that case. But that doesn’t mean that I was right and he was wrong. We need to be very, very careful before we overturn religious belief," he said.

Hatch said courts have gone "very far left" with regard to religious rights.

"We're in danger of losing our religious freedom and our rights. People are moving away from going to church on Sundays. People are starting to find fault with religions and their beliefs," he said.

Even if same-sex marriage were to become legal, it will never be fully accepted by many people or churches, the senator said.

Hatch also defended U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball, who ruled last week that Utah must recognize same-sex marriage performed in the state during the 17 days it was legal. Kimball put a 21-day hold on his decision.

Other federal judges in Utah might not have arrived at the same conclusions as Kimball and Shelby, Hatch said.

"But I think it's a portend of the future that sooner or later, gay marriage is probably going to be approved by the Supreme Court of the United States," he said. "I don't think that's the right way to go. But on the other hand I do accept whatever the courts say."

Hatch lamented the high court throwing out the federal Defense of Marriage Act last summer.

There is a question of whether it should be able to tell the states what they can or cannot do with marriage, he said. The 50 state "laboratories" can find their own solutions rather than having one "tribunal" ignoring the will of the states, which he said could lead to "anarchy."

"Is the federal government constitutionally going to take away all the rights of the states?" Hatch said.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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1. get her done
Bountiful, UT,
May 28, 2014

Hatch is right.

2. Ranch
Here, UT,
May 28, 2014

"We need to be very, very careful before we overturn religious belief," he said."

--- No. No. NO!!! We need to be very, very careful before we put religious beliefs into law in the first place!

""We're in danger of losing our religious freedom and our rights."

--- What about the religious freedom of those who support marriage equality? What about the rights of LGBT citizens?

"Even if same-sex marriage were to become legal, it will never be fully accepted by many..."

--- So? No big deal.

"There is a question of whether it should be able to tell the states what they can or cannot do with marriage, he said. "

--- Are you still married when you cross state lines, Senator?

3. Bob K
Davis, CA,
May 28, 2014

Good for Senator Hatch to tell the obvious truth about the outcome! He is a great American, whether I find him too conservative or not: he is not part of the "let's jam things up until we get our way" current republican generation.

As I have been saying for some time, someone needs to be preparing DN readers for the inevitable, not encouraging division and hatred and separation by denying that it will happen.

All those Gay folks, including those who are mormon, are citizens of the USA and all are God's children. Most Americans, now, including a super majority of the under 40s, accept marriage equality. Most Christians feel that the interpretations of the Bible which come down hard on the Gays are antiquated and wrong.

Many who believe in God do not believe he created your Gay sons and daughters to be 2nd or 3rd class citizens, not able to marry who they love. Many wonder why there is continual slander of Gay folks.

DN, how about some articles on how Utahns can learn to accept civil marriage equality, whether or not the lds and other churches ever permit it religiously?

4. Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA,
May 28, 2014

It seems a little strange for Senator Hatch to say the he believes the states should be the ones to define marriage yet he supports DOMA and a Constitutional Amendment to define it for them.

5. Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT,
May 28, 2014

So, please Mr. Senator, name 1 religious right that was lost with Judge Shelby's ruling? Just one. If you can, I will immediately and without hesitation join your fight.

Just one.