SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary Herbert said he would not marry a same-sex couple, citing personal beliefs.
In a news conference on Thursday, the governor was asked if he has ever officiated a wedding for a gay couple. Herbert replied that he had not ever been asked.
“I probably would respectfully decline,” he said. “It’s not something I would want to do.”
Herbert said he is not obligated to perform such marriages, “like a clerk.”
However, a bill being considered in the Utah State Legislature this year would exempt municipal clerks from performing same-sex marriages based on deeply held religious beliefs. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, told FOX 13 on Thursday that offices would still be required to have someone perform such a marriage.
House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, was asked the same question on Thursday and offered a contrasting viewpoint to the governor’s.
“It’s actually news to me I could perform marriages!” he quipped. “Such authority I have.”
Hughes passed for a moment before adding: “You know what? I don’t have a problem with it.”
Same-sex marriage became legal in Utah last year after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s appeal of a case challenging Amendment 3.