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Obama’s marriage comments hailed by gay Utah couples

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Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, called marriage "a sacred union between a man and a woman" that should be preserved.

"I’m glad the president finally laid out his position to the American people, but changing the definition of marriage is not something I can support," he said.

At a glance

Harry Reid’s view

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the highest ranking elected official who is Mormon, issued the following statement on gay marriage:

“My personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. But in a civil society, I believe that people should be able to marry whomever they want, and it’s no business of mine if two men or two women want to get married. The idea that allowing two loving, committed people to marry would have any impact on my life, or on my family’s life, always struck me as absurd.

“In talking with my children and grandchildren, it has become clear to me they take marriage equality as a given. I have no doubt that their view will carry the future.

“I handled a fair amount of domestic relations work when I was a practicing lawyer, and it was all governed by state law. I believe that is the proper place for this issue to be decided as well.”

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., on the U.S. Senate Democrats website.

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Utah’s GOP U.S. House members Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz said they disagreed with the president’s position. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Utah Republicans’ positions are similar to that of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a fellow Mormon, whose position is identical to that of his church.

"I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender and I don’t favor civil unions if they’re identical to marriage other than by name," Romney told a TV reporter. "My view is domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights and the like are appropriate, but the others are not."

State Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, said it was surprising to see Obama endorse same-sex marriage the day after North Carolina banned it. It is the 31st state to pass a constitutional amendment aimed at defending traditional marriage.

"In every state where the people have voted on the definition of marriage, there is majority support for marriage being defined as a union between a man and a woman," she said. gehrke@sltrib.comTwitter: @RobertGehrke

Matt Canham contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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