Utah Gov. Gary Herbert: States Not Defending Gay Marriage Bans Is 'Next Step To Anarchy'

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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R), resolute in his quest to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage, is disappointed that other states don't feel compelled to do the same.

At a press conference Monday, Herbert said he's upset by calls for Utah to drop its defense of the state's voter-approved gay marriage ban, according to the Associated Press:

He said seeing Oregon and Pennsylvania leaders this week decide not to appeal rulings from federal judges striking down bans there does nothing to change his thinking. He said those leaders should be "called on the carpet" for their decision.

"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. "We have an obligation as a state to defend those laws."

A federal judge ruled Monday that Utah must recognize the more than 1,200 same-sex marriages that were performed during a 17-day period beginning Dec. 20, 2013. The governor said state officials have not decided if they'll appeal the ruling and grant benefits to those couples.

Herbert elaborated upon his own views about same-sex marriage when asked whether he thinks the march towards marriage equality can be compared to the defeat of miscegenation laws:

"What you choose to do with your sexual orientation is different in my mind than what you're born with as far as your race," Herbert said. He added later: "What your attraction may be is something else, but how you act upon those impulses is a choice."

19 states and the District of Columbia have now legalized same-sex marriage.

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