Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a
Republican, reiterated his opposition to gay marriage following a
federal judge's ruling striking down the state's ban.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby
said in his ruling handed down Friday that the state's 2004
voter-approved constitutional amendment which limits marriage to
heterosexual unions violates the 14th Amendment.
strikes down Utah's gay marriage ban; Clerk starts issuing licenses.)
“I am very disappointed an activist
federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of
Utah,” Herbert said in a statement. “I am working with my legal
counsel and the acting Attorney General to determine the best course
to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.”
A spokesman for the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) also criticized the ruling.
“This ruling by a district court will
work its way through the judicial process,” Eric Hawkins said in a
statement. “We continue to believe that voters in Utah did the
right thing by providing clear direction in the state Constitution
that marriage should be between a man and a woman and we are hopeful
that this view will be validated by a higher court.”