Utah governor signs bill allowing officials to refuse to officiate marriages

Gov. Gary Herbert (R-Utah)

Gov. Gary Herbert (R-Utah)

Gov. Gary Herbert (R-Utah)

Gov. Gary Herbert (R-Utah)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Republican governor has signed a bill allowing government officials to refuse to marry couples, including same-sex couples, for religious reasons.

The measure signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on Friday requires a county clerk’s office to designate someone to marry all couples if the clerk opts out.

LGBT rights groups have had mixed reactions to the proposal.

Equality Utah Director Troy Williams says his organization is neutral on the proposal.

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He says the opt-out is objectionable but the law guarantees LGBT couples can find someone to marry them in every Utah county. Clerks were not required to perform marriages before.

The Utah-based Mormon church supports the proposal. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also backed another bill Herbert signed that protects LGBT people from discrimination in housing and employment.

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