After Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) last week said that states choosing not to defend their gay marriage bans in court will lead to “anarchy,” a state LGBT leader is calling for an apology.
“For elected officials, governors or attorney generals, to pick and choose what laws [they] will enforce I think is a tragedy, and is the next step to anarchy,” Herbert said in a press conference last week after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) said he wouldn’t appeal a court’s ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban. “We have an obligation as a state to defend those laws.”
Herbert then implied that being gay is a choice after he was asked if a ban on same-sex marriage was any different from a law prohibiting interracial marriages.
“What you choose to do with your sexual orientation is different than what you’re born with as your race,” he said, later adding that there might be “different gradations” in sexuality.
Now, a state LGBT leader is calling for Herbert to apologize.
“To suggest that allowing gay marriage is the foundation of anarchy, to us, is hate speech,” John Netto, who leads the Utah Pride Center board, told the Salt Lake Tribune in an interview published Friday. “We think he is uneducated … on current scientific positions in regard to human sexuality.”
“We are quite confident that the 18 or 19 states that have legal marriage are not in a state of anarchy, and there has been no damage [done] to heterosexual marriage,” Netto continued. “We absolutely think he should apologize, and we think he should reach out and we think he should get some education.”
A federal court struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage in December, and the state has filed an appeal.