The Senator of Utah, who is Mitt Romney’s most high-profile Mormon supporter in the US Senate, has disagreed with the new presidential candidate on amending the Constitution to ban marriage equality.
Orrin Hatch stated that though he is not a supporter of marriage equality, he believed that individual states had a right to determine their own laws.
If a federal marriage amendment were to be passed – and set in stone the definition of marriage as that between a man and a woman only – all states would be banned from enacting laws allowing marriage equality.
In those states where marriage equality laws had been passed, their ban would presumably be reinstated.
As reported by the Huffington Post, while at the Republican National convention in Tampa, Florida, Senator Hatch – who supported AIDS funding in the 1980s when it was still seen as a ‘gay disease’ – was asked if his beliefs on marriage equality had changed at all.
He said: “Well, my personal belief is that we should not discriminate against anybody, but I do draw the line at the definition of marriage.
“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.”
He added: “I’m a believer that the states should be able to make their own determination.
“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.”
When he was reminded of Mr Romney’s position - support for a federal marriage amendment, which would take away the rights of states to enact marriage equality - Senator Hatch said: “I’ve never heard that – never heard him say that. I don’t think that’s his position. But I don’t know.”
In January of this year, Romney said of President Obama: “I would, unlike this president, defend the Defense of Marriage Act. I would also propose and promote once again an amendment to the Constitution to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.”