By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com August 29 2012 2:10 PM ET
Republican senator Orrin Hatch voted in 2006 for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. But now he's up for reelection in Utah and seems to be more focused on states' rights.
Hatch overcame a hard-fought primary challenge from the Tea Party. And when asked by SiriusXM's Michelangelo Signorile this week whether he agrees with Mitt Romney's support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, which would stop states from deciding on their own whether it should be legal, Hatch seemed confused.
Hatch said he'd "never heard him say that," but Romney has in fact signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage that makes it clear he'd back the amendment.
Hatch, a fellow Mormon, emphasized that "my personal belief is that we should not discriminate against anybody, but I do draw the line at the definition of marriage." Hatch issued a vague statement in May opposing President Obama after he evolved on the issue. Now Hatch clarified that he favors "traditional marriage" but leaves open the door for states to make their own rules.
"I'm a believer that the states should be able to make their own determination," he told Signorile. "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."
In the general election, Hatch faces Democratic former state senator Scott Howell, who also believes marraige should be only between one man and one woman.
Listen to the complete interview via The Huffington Post.