Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has endorsed civil unions as a means to preserve marriage as a heterosexual institution.

Hatch, a Republican, made his comments during a wide-ranging radio interview on Logan station KVNU.

“I don't believe we should be prejudiced against anybody,” Hatch said. “But I do believe that we ought to maintain the 6,000 year marriage laws that we have, actually, at least 2,000 years, the traditional marriage. And if you start overturning things like that then, I got to tell you they'll be every Tom, Dick and Harry in there with some crazy marital scheme demanding the same rights and the same privileges.”

Hatch stated that he does not believe sexual orientation is a choice.

“And who wants to be prejudiced against people who I don't think chose to be gay. I certainly don't.”

“On the other hand, I do think that the … traditional marriage, that's where I draw the line. Traditional marriage ought to be upheld.”

“And if [the Supreme Court doesn't] uphold it, it opens a plethora of problems that the court will be forever trying to decide.”

“I do think it's a state issue. I think the states ought to be able to determine what happens. … This could be solved greatly by civil union law that would give gay people the same rights as married people. … I think we could solve this problem without undermining the very basis of marital law in our country.”