Petitions urging Romney to codify marriage equality signed by ‘hundreds’ of Utahns

Story at a glance

  • Hundreds of Utahns have signed petitions urging Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) to vote in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would officially repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and require federal recognition for same-sex and interracial marriages nationwide, the Human Rights Campaign said this week.

  • The petition signatures were collected by the HRC and Equality Utah and delivered to Romney’s Salt Lake City office on Monday.

  • Romney is one of several key Republican senators who have not indicated whether they will vote to pass the legislation.

Petitions reportedly signed by hundreds of voters in Utah were delivered to Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R) office in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday urging the senator to vote in favor of legislation that would codify the right to same-sex marriage.

Signatures of “hundreds” of Utahns were collected and delivered to Romney’s office in an effort organized by the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Utah, two LGBTQ+ advocacy groups. An additional 4,000 constituent contacts to Romney have been made in recent days, including phone calls and letters, the groups said Monday.

The Human Rights Campaign did not immediately respond to questions from Changing America about the petitions, which urge Romney to back the Respect for Marriage Act that was passed by the House in July.

The legislation would officially repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman – and require federal recognition for same-sex and interracial marriages nationwide.

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Romney has not yet indicated which way he will vote on the bill, but told reporters on Tuesday that he is “looking into protections for religion” as he considers his position. The senator last month said he believes the measure is unnecessary because same-sex marriage is already protected by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“We all know what the law is and I don’t see the law changing, so it’s not something I’m giving consideration to at this stage,” he said, but added that he would focus on the proposal “if it comes our way.”

But lawmakers backing the legislation have expressed a desire to move quickly, citing a suggestion made by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last month that the court’s decisions in landmark cases including Obergefell should be revisited.

“We cannot sit idly by as the hard-earned gains of the equality movement are systematically eroded,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is sponsoring the Respect for Marriage Act, said last month.

The measure has garnered support from both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, but a number of key GOP senators, including Romney, have yet to say whether they will approve the legislation.

The measure passed overwhelmingly in the House with 47 Republican votes, including all four of Utah’s Republican representatives.