Utah’s Governor says he would not marry same-sex couples

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File photo of Gov. Gary Herbert.

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary Herbert said he would not marry a same-sex couple, citing personal beliefs.

In a news conference on Thursday, the governor was asked if he has ever officiated a wedding for a gay couple. Herbert replied that he had not ever been asked.

“I probably would respectfully decline,” he said. “It’s not something I would want to do.”

Herbert said he is not obligated to perform such marriages, “like a clerk.”

However, a bill being considered in the Utah State Legislature this year would exempt municipal clerks from performing same-sex marriages based on deeply held religious beliefs. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, told FOX 13 on Thursday that offices would still be required to have someone perform such a marriage.

House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, was asked the same question on Thursday and offered a contrasting viewpoint to the governor’s.

“It’s actually news to me I could perform marriages!” he quipped. “Such authority I have.”

Hughes passed for a moment before adding: “You know what? I don’t have a problem with it.”

Same-sex marriage became legal in Utah last year after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s appeal of a case challenging Amendment 3.

Related story: Religious liberties bill slammed as “a license to discriminate”

20 comments

  • Carol

    If it is against his beliefs then respect that. He is standing up for his values and what he believes in. He is not a “jerk” or any other name. It is time to quit the name calling and show respect for people and quit pushing beliefs on others who don’t share that belief. Just be respectful and accept what they decide.

    • Molly Babcock

      Ever heard of church and state? His “beliefs” shouldn’t have anything to do with it. We wouldn’t be talking about this if it were racial. Same thing. Discrimination!

  • bob

    Herbert obviously does not understand the separation of Church and State…He should be removed from office for making such comments.

  • Karen

    Public service is just that…Public. If your own personal beliefs keep you from doing your job for the PUBLIC, then you have no business in that job. Go to work in the private sector. Things change at my work all the time and I don’t like it, but I don’t get to pick and choose what I will and won’t do, or I will be fired.

  • boom

    sure lets pass the religious freedom bill… after taking the churches tax exempt status. if you dont want the government to tell you what to do. stop taking their handouts

  • Robert Johnson

    Are they also going to allow religious exemptions for people who think that inter-racial marriages are “icky”? Just curious.

  • Darryn Lee

    This has nothing to do with “separation of church and state”. Right now, the best solution is to have a few people who doesn’t mind doing those kind of marriages. It would just be easier than trying to force someone to do something they are not willing to do.

    • bob

      This has everything to do with separation of church and state…he is an elected PUBLIC official, in fact he is the highest elected official in the state, if his religious beliefs hinder him from doing what the law says he has no business working in the public sector let alone being the Governor of a state…Impeach him !

      • ANOTHERBOB

        MOLLY BABCOCK – The Governor is under no obligation to perform your marriage or any body elses. If you don’t like him don’t vote for him. He only won two to one in the last election.

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