Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), on Friday claimed a constitutional right to ban gay marriage.

In a blog post criticizing a decision by the U.S. Justice Department to recognize the more than 1,300 marriages of gay couples which took place in Utah over 17 days bookended by a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's ban and the Supreme Court putting that order on hold as an appeal is sought, Brown claimed that the Obama administration was trampling over Utah's constitutional right to decide the issue.

“It is outrageous that the Justice Department would move so brazenly and publicly to undermine Utah's standing constitutional provision regulating marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Brown wrote. “It is the right of states to determine marriage, and the voters and legislature of Utah have done just that. Their right to do so is encoded in the U.S. Constitution, and was explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court this summer in the Windsor decision. But with this move, the Department of Justice under this Administration signals that it simply has no regard for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Friday's announcement came two days after Utah officials announced they would not recognize the marriage licenses as an appeal moves forward, saying that the marriages were “on hold.”

“The Justice Department's edict today expressly contradicts the determination of Utah's Governor and Attorney General, and represents one of the most significant overreaches of federal authority imaginable,” Brown added. “Furthermore, Attorney General Eric Holder is now doing the very thing that the Supreme Court in Windsor v. United States held the federal government could not do – use a definition of marriage for federal law purposes that did not respect the policy choices made by the individual states. This determination should be reversed if the State of Utah's sovereignty – or really any state's – is to be upheld and respected.”