Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah
has said he does not support a constitutional amendment banning gay
marriage, breaking with Mitt Romney on the issue.
“Well, my personal belief is that we
should not discriminate against anybody, but I do draw the line at
the definition of marriage,” Hatch told SiriusXM's Michelangelo
Hatch, who in 2006 voted in favor of a
constitutional amendment which would define marriage as a
heterosexual union, added that he had not “even considered” such
an amendment and believed “that the states should be able to make
their own determination” on the issue.
“There are about, what, six states
that have done it? They've chosen to do that. I don't agree with
that, because I believe in the sanctity of the marriage covenant and
the traditional definition, but the states have a right to do it,”
Romney was among the Republican
candidates who last summer signed a
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) pledge in support of a
federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Hatch, also a prominent Mormon, said
he was unaware of Romney's position on the issue.
Gary Bauer, president of the Christian
conservative American Values, criticized Hatch on Thursday.
“Of course as you know that's not the
goal of the gay rights movement,” Bauer
told Signorile. “The goal of the gay rights movement is to
take a state that has same-sex marriage and to use that state as a
battering ram and a lawsuit before the Supreme Court to force every
state to have same-sex marriage. So I'm sorry that Orrin fell for
it. But if only your side was willing to allow each state to make
the decision on their own. I think Orrin Hatch may have had a bad
moment or he forgets what's happened in the last 30 years – courts
forcing radical social change on the American people.”