Orrin Hatch Breaks with Romney on Federal Amendment Banning Gays from Marrying

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who is Mitt Romney's most prominent Mormon supporter in the U.S. Senate, broke with Romney on Wednesday when he told Michelangelo Signorile that he supports states rights over a federal ban on same-sex marriage:

HatchWalking through the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Hatch — who has been lauded as an early GOP supporter of AIDS funding in the '80s, when the disease was ravaging the gay community — was asked if his beliefs on marriage for gays and lesbians had evolved.

"Well, my personal belief is that we should not discriminate against anybody, but I do draw the line at the definition of marriage,” he said in an interview for my SiriusXM radio program. "I think that it's a very important thing for men, women and children. But I don't want to see anybody showing prejudice against anybody."

Expanding upon his philosophy, which is clearly a shift in his own thinking since he voted for a marriage amendment in 2006, Hatch said, "I haven't even considered" the idea of amendment at this point in time. "I'm a believer that the states should be able to make their own determination," he explained. "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."


  1. says

    …what Larry said.

    Plus, “I draw the line at…”

    So, no Federal or State ban on shellfish? Mixed fibers? Women in politics (remember, shut your mouth, females). And the list goes on.

    Effing taliban of convenience. WTFE. The real scare is the throng of young “christian” soldiers emerging from the brainwashing centers of Amuhrikkka.

  2. AERES says

    The leaps of logic these people will go through. So he’s essentially saying, “I support the (federal) law that prohibits discrimination, but support the states’ rights to either subvert or follow that law.”

    This is precisely the kind of reasoning that lead to the notion that states could secede and that Jim Crow laws were permissible.

    Its bigotry disquised as principle any way you slice it.

  3. Stefan says

    I was so heartened by the headline until I read the content. But if every Republican had this philosophy and DOMA was off the books, I’d be a lot happier.

  4. Disgusted American says

    IF the Romenys/GOP thinks they can just void/annull,cancel out the 10’s of 1000’s of gay/lesbian marriages..they got another thing coming to them…….you wanna see a Riot? F’n Try it you GOP scum, it will make Stonewall look like a God-dammed picnic….and at 52, with more yrs behind then ahead, Im More then WILLING to DIE for MY RIGHTS as an American Citizen!

  5. maddM@ says

    what is most surprising (well not really) is that the GOP is a party continuously bitching and moaning that we have too many regulations and it makes the US unattractive for people to do business here- a point that should be entertained. If that’s the case though, why is the GOP so supportive of “states’ rights” when it essentially makes us a country of 50 mini countries with all different laws and regulations.

    Personally I would rather deal with some regulations applied consistently across a country than laws that change from state to state…. but that’s republican logic for you

  6. jamal49 says

    Perhaps the ghost of Teddy Kennedy speaks to Hatch every once in a while.

    However, Sen. Hatch, here’s the problem with your point-of-view.

    See, I am an American citizen, a veteran of military service, I pay my taxes, do all the good and right things expected of me as a citizen, I vote in nearly every election and, oh, by the way, I am a gay man.

    Now, Sen. Hatch, I ask you: why should my civil rights as granted to me under the U.S. Constitution be decided at the state level? Why must there be any discrimination against me at all? Especially should I wish to marry the man I love and live a complete, fulfilling life with him?

    Why is that for the states to decide? Why is that even something to be considered to amend our Constitution to institutionalize such discrimination?

    While I am encouraged that you have “evolved” somewhat, it still doesn’t address the core issue: LGBT Americans are considered second- even third-class citizens and can be discriminated against without impunity in most states whether it’s marriage, work or housing.

    When do we LGBT people, as citizens of this country, get to experience our lives with full civil equality?

  7. EchtKultig says

    You realize this is all “games Mormons play.” Google “lying for the Lord”. It’s just a good cop, bad cop routine. They both vehemently oppose gay rights, gay people, and gay marriage. This is a little window dressing for the media to make it seem like “some Republicans are kinda moderate after all.” Sorry to have to seem cynical, but it’s the truth.

    “Its bigotry disguised as principle any way you slice it.” – exactly, Aeres.

  8. Brad says

    The only reason he did it, is because he knows some states, like his beloved Christianist state of Utah will never recognize or pass same-sex marriage without a federal requirement to do so. When a Republican utters states rights, they are just furthering their own conservative agenda. Orin Hatch is a homophobe to the core and he would never support same-sex marriage.

  9. Matt says

    A Republican from Utah saying that? Whoa, the world’s about to end!

    It’s not enough for us to support him at all, but it shows real change. He can disagree all he likes; the more Republicans get away from the “amendment” in word and deed is another step closer to victory for us. It’s basically an admission of defeat and that they were wrong, though of course Republicans would never admit having made a mistake.

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