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Experts weigh in on how SCOTUS ruling would affect Utahns

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Posted at 6:08 PM, Apr 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-28 20:08:07-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- What if?

It's certain to be a popular game in every state in the country for the next two months.

What if the Supreme Court says same-sex marriage is a constitutional right?

What if the Supreme Court says states have the right to define marriage?

For Utah, things would stay the same if the Court decides for the plaintiffs. Same-sex marriage would remain legal.

If the states win, the experts aren't sure what happens next.

Bill Duncan, director of the Center for Family and Society at the Sutherland Institute, thinks Gov. Gary. Herbert may have the authority to direct county clerks to go back to obeying Utah's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"My guess is that the governor would just say this is the law in the books, it’s not unconstitutional because the previous ruling saying it was has been defacto overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court and so Utah would be able to enforce its law again," Duncan said.

But University of Utah Law Professor Clifford Rosky thinks the social momentum of same-sex marriage is already an unstoppable force.

"It's hard to imagine going backwards," Rosky said.