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Utah Rep. Pushing For Religious Exemption To Gay Marriage

AP Photo / Rick Bowmer

Anderegg said that while he has had the legislation drafted for about a year, he thinks that the timing for his constitutional amendment may be in his favor right now.

"We'll see if it sprouts legs and walks in this session," he said, "or runs."

The amendment may gain bipartisan support. State Rep. Jim Dabakis (D), who is gay and married his partner once the same-sex marriage ban was struck down, told the Tribune he could support Anderegg's legislation with one key change.

Dabakis said that if the bill were amended to clarify that everyone had the right to a civil marriage, he could support the constitutional amendment, as it would likely keep gay marriage opponents from worrying about legalizing marriage for all.

"I don't think anybody wants to be married by somebody that doesn't want to marry them," Dabakis added.

Anderegg predicted to the Tribune that the question of whether the 14th Amendment could trump the religious liberty in the First Amendment on the issue of marriage could come before the courts soon.

"I think this is where the law is going and want to put some extra protection in place," he said.

Anderegg added that he is also working on a similar statute, and that he will see whether that or the constitutional amendment gains more support.