US: ‘States should respect voters’ views on marriage’

The failure of US state governors to uphold voter-approved laws, such as those which support traditional marriage, is a “tragedy and the next step to anarchy”, the governor of Utah has said.

In eight states this year, federal judges have sought to bring in gay marriage by overturning constitutional amendments, voted for by the citizens of each state, which define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Utah’s state governor Gary Herbert said that elected officials should be responsible for representing the will of the people.


He made the comments in light of last week’s decisions by Oregon and Pennsylvania not to appeal rulings which overturned laws that upheld traditional marriage.

He said the community and the media should be asking those in charge to explain their actions, as they “have a responsibility to defend the law that has been put on the books by the people”.

“For alleged officials, governors or attorney generals, to pick and choose which laws we’ll enforce, I think, is a tragedy and is the next step to anarchy”, he added.


In December last year, a federal judge overturned Utah’s gay marriage ban and 1,300 same-sex marriages were legalised before the decision was suspended two weeks later.

Herbert made the comments at a press conference last week, after a judge ruled that Utah must recognise the same-sex marriage licenses that were granted.

Herbert said he will continue to appeal the decision and will defend traditional marriage.


Six same-sex couples in South Dakota recently filed a federal lawsuit in order to challenge the law which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

This leaves North Dakota as the only state in America with an unchallenged law that upholds traditional marriage.