Sen. Orrin Hatch says legal gay marriage is almost certain to become a reality throughout the United States. Photo courtesy of the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch says legal gay marriage is almost certain to become a reality throughout the United States. Photo courtesy of the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch

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SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Sen. Orrin Hatch says legal gay marriage is almost certain to become a reality throughout the United States.

“Let’s face it, anybody who does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn’t been observing what’s going on,” the Utah Republican said Wednesday (May 28) on KSL Radio’s “Doug Wright Show.”

“There is a question whether (the courts) should be able to tell the states what they can or cannot do with something as important as marriage, but 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.”

Hatch, whose Senate website shows him supporting a constitutional amendment to declare marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, has in the past railed against “liberal judges” and practitioners of “judicial activism” for attempting to foist gay marriage on society.

“Ultimately,” he says on the website, “the American people, not unelected judges, should decide policy on critical social issues such as this one.”

The seven-term Republican’s tone was strikingly different during his interview with Wright.

He defended two U.S. district judges: Robert Shelby, whose Dec. 20 ruling overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, and Dale Kimball, who declared that Utah must recognize and uphold all legal rights of the 1,000-plus same-sex couples who wed in the state before a Jan. 6 stay.

While he said he disagreed with their decisions, Hatch described them as excellent judges who were attempting to follow the law.

“I think it’s a portent of the future that sooner or later gay marriage is probably going to be approved by the Supreme Court of the United States, certainly as the people in this country move towards it, especially young people. I don’t think that’s the right way to go; on the other hand, I do accept whatever the courts say.”

Hatch, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, played a key role in the nominations of both judges under Democratic presidents. He has not joined with some other Utah Republicans in sharply criticizing Shelby.

“How do you blame the judge for deciding a case in accordance with what the Supreme Court has already articulated and in accordance with what most judges in the land are articulating right now? Like I say, I didn’t agree with his decision.”

The senator indicated a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court may be forthcoming next year, calling that “an appropriate time to decide this issue once and for all. It’s never going to be fully accepted by a lot of people and, frankly, it won’t be accepted by a lot of the churches.”

(Dan Harrie and Lindsay Whitehurst write for The Salt Lake Tribune)


  1. Gay marriage makes at least as much sense as gays who paraded as straights simply by marrying heterosexually. We would be more stunned by those gays who have entered straight marriages in order to pass that we frequently have been by those who have come out as gay whom we did not suspect.

  2. And when it comes to judicial activism, why is it that Orrin Hatch hasn’t challenged the behavior of our super-activist, Catholic-dominated Supreme Court for all those privileged and unconstitutional decisions it has proclaimed like Citizens United that provide special privilege to the wealthy of Hatch’s Republican Party? How much is Hatch worth? What is his wealth standing among members of Congress?

    Former Justice John Paul Stevens writes in his recent book about amending the Constitution that once change should be an amendment so that the “anti-commandeering rule” or Article VI, Paragraph 2 should be revised to require all state officers to abide by federal laws, not only state judges.

    Much as I admire Stevens, I think that since the Constitution already specifies state judges must oblige federal law, and since state judges decide on state law, and since state legislators and executives pass state laws, and because federal law is the “supreme law of the land,” all that is needed is a clarification by the Supreme Court that all state officers are already included under Article VI, Paragraph 2.

    It is long past the time when marriage should be federal law. There are too many federal laws that refer to individuals, married and unmarried, to allow marriage to proceed with so many unequal and unfair differences and difficulties from state to state. The mobility of people is another reason. Primarily, however, it is a matter of justice catching up with science, sociology, and psychology. Orientation is supreme over genitalia!

  3. America, otherwise known as the United States of Sodom, has turned its back on God. Soon it will pay the price, and it will be the full price.

    Coast-to-coast gay marriage on top of 50 million dead babies? That’s a gold-plated invitation to divine judgment. America is about to crash head-on into something bad, something that nobody will be able to fix.

    Meanwhile, Christians are to fight this gay marriage mess anyway, regardless of what any slop-bucket judges or justices choose to do. Don’t buy into any Gay Borg “Resistance Is Futile” propaganda. The gay activists’ propaganda campaign is worse than Pure Skunk. Fight back!

    Reach out to the young kids and young adults and tell them the real truth, the male-female complementarian truth, the Biblical truth, instead of the Gay Activist Snake-Oiled Lies.

    You know that gay marriage is 100% wrong every day. You know that Obama and other pro-gay activists are messing up our entire nation every day. So America better fight back while it is still alive!

    • Don’t worry Doc, 50 years ago, people thought the same way about people like yourself: attending the same schools as they did, using the same hospitals and even dating their daughters. :)

      • I’ve seen “For Colored Only” bathrooms, Larry, and even had to use one as a child.

        But I never did see ANY “For Gay Only”, “For Lesbian Only”, or “For Lgbt Only” signs. Not once. Can you point me to any that you’ve seen?

    • CarrotCakeMan

      Poor, Doc. He rails on, polluting this website with his hate speech, unable to accept the fact that most Americans are fighting on this issue, but we’re fighting against anti-gays. Americans finally woke up and realized anti-gays were trying to subvert the United States Constitution. Once that happened, anti-gays had already lost.

      • We should only hope anti-gays and all other bigots have lost. “Hope lives eternal,” but… Look at the uncivilized, inhumane, unchristian, undemocratic hatred that still abounds in this supposed free nation toward all minorities. Ignorance and hatred toward differences are always basic to bigotry, prejudice.

        Throughout history bigotry has always been practiced by majorities toward any minorities. In this supposedly democratic nation, to say nothing of those who insist on wrongly calling it a Christian nation, there has always been bigotry on the part of caucasians toward blacks, toward browns, toward Asians, toward non-Christians–and toward “queers.”. Look at what we did to Native Americans as we spread “from sea to shining sea” fulfilling “our manifest destiny.”

        If we look anywhere in history, can we ever see a place where the majority has not practiced prejudice toward any minority in its midst? That prejudice is an integral part of the attitude of males toward females in opportunity, in equal pay for equal work, and in sexual assaults. “Keep them barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.” The minority status of women is their lesser muscular strength.

        It seems the more there is available to learn, through science, sociology, and psychology, for instance, the less we avail ourselves of it. We certainly practice it less. The contrast between what we can know and the ways we live is stark and awful.

      • Well, at least you’re not calling for censorship anymore. That’s a start.

        As you say, it’s a fight. Win or lose, when it comes to gay marraige, there isn’t any middle room, no middle ground. There’s only the folks who have given up, and the folks who have not (and that’s true for both sides).

        Me, I reject the “Resistance Is Futile” message that some of the Activist Borgs are pushing.

    • You know, Doc, your kind have been promising us your doom and gloom ever since ancient times when your mythological tales were written and told. Hardly anyone could write then, so that added to all the distortions in the tales about gods and the contradictions of their wicked powers.

      You can keep your wicked gods, Doc, and their evil ways, like planting a teasing, tempting apple tree in the midst of a garden where “his” beloved creatures were otherwise free to climb any beanstalk they wished–naked, of course–until they ate that delicious and nutritious apple. What sort of god is that?

      Too bad Republicans are now trying to be so similarly godly and eliminate apples from school lunches and replace such nutrition with all the rotten pre-packaged food then enriches their contributors. They don’t care that the junk food they are proposing causes obesity, disease, and early death in our next generations. I wonder what your god thinks of all the fat that is waddling along our streets?

      • Somehow I don’t think it was an apple tree Gilhcan (otherwise why are humans allowed to eat apples now? C’mon guys). Frankly, the school lunches in my hometown all tasted the same, whether under Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush(es), or Obama.

        But with that last guy on the list, America has now got a LOT worse to worry about, not just the usual worthless sauerkraut-&-hot-dog school lunches.

        • “Frankly, the school lunches in my hometown all tasted the same, whether under Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush(es), or Obama. ”

          You attended public school for 35 years?

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