Gov. Herbert speaks on defending Amendment 3

Posted at 12:47 PM, Jan 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-23 14:53:06-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Gov. Gary Herbert made two things clear about his stance on same-sex marriage at his first monthly news conference since Federal District Court Judge Robert Shelby ruled Utah's ban unconstitutional.

First, the governor has no doubts about his job to defend Utah law in the courts.

Second, he's not interested in hashing out his own opinion on the issue of same-sex versus traditional marriage.

"We had a rigorous thoughtful debate on Amendment Three," Herbert said. "That train has left the station, and so we have a law on the books that we have to defend."

The governor said the state anticipates the defense to the Tenth Circuit Court in Denver to cost about $300,000. He said it's worth it for such an important debate.

But he was reluctant to speak at length about his own views of same-sex marriage.

"A lot of things go into individual belief,” he said. “Again, what my foundation is for individual belief really is not relevant today.”

The U.S. Supreme Court later halted same-sex marriages in Utah while an appeals court considers whether Amendment Three is constitutional.