Utah’s New Attorney General Promises to Defend Gay Marriage Ban
Utah is the latest state to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses, but the state’s new attorney general, who was just sworn into office on Monday, has already vowed to defend a ban prohibiting same-sex marriage. the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Utah Republican Gov. Gary Hubert picked Sean Reyes as attorney general, during at time where Hubert’s administration is battling a judge’s decision to overturn a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
"We stumble and fall and we pick ourselves up and we journey forward. In a large part, that’s what this event today is about," Herbert said. "He has the right background and, most importantly, he has the right demeanor to take on what I consider a new beginning for the attorney general’s office."
Utah is expected to soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby, who ruled that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Reyes discussed how the state will proceed with the battle on marriage equality in the state.
"I’m starting day one with a case involving the defense of marriage. I’m not going to talk today, at least here, about the merits of the case, but this could be a potentially divisive case," Reyes said. "I don’t think it needs to be divisive. With the respect and good will from those on both sides of the issue, I think we can disagree in a healthy way and still remember we are all still Utahns."
The Tribune reports that Reyes was asked if he believed marriage should be a constitutionally protected right. The attorney general said, "marriage, as a fundamental right, has been developed in a number of cases with the Supreme Court."