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Sen. Hatch says legal recognition of same-sex marriage will probably become ‘the norm in this country’

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Posted at 9:27 PM, May 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-28 23:31:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- "People are gonna have to live with it."

That's what Utah's longest-serving Senator said about same-sex marriage.

Orrin Hatch made that strong statement during an interview Wednesday morning on Good Day Utah. FOX 13 News now has reaction from the state's most conservative U.S. Senator and what gay rights activists are saying.

"I did support Judge Shelby, and I've talked to a lot of attorneys, they say he's an excellent judge, I differ with him on this decision, on the other hand, I think that he probably made a decision that is going to become the norm in this country and people are gonna have to live with it, it seems to me," Hatch said during the interview on Good Day Utah.

The Republican voted in favor of legislation that protects the LGBT community from employment discrimination and supported Judge Robert Shelby's appointment. He believes someday same-sex marriage will be socially acceptable and legal.

"It's hard to conceive that we would move away from the standard marriage between man and a woman, which has been the standard for 6,000 years, but we have, we are,"  Hatch said.

Brandie Balken, the executive director for Equality Utah, spoke in reply to the senator's remarks.

"I think Senator Hatch, like most Utahns, holds a deep sense of respect and also understanding how important it is to value diversity and begin to open up the space to more diversity," Balken said.

What about staunch tea party conservative Mike Lee? Is Utah's second Senator disappointed by statements made by someone from the same political aisle?

"I'll have to review his comments, I continue to believe each has the state authority on its own to define marriage," Lee said.

In a brief interview with FOX 13 News, Lee went on to say that he doesn't see anything in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits a state from creating its own laws when it comes to same-sex marriage, like in Utah's case which is being battled in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals right now.