SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Sen. Orrin Hatch, who earlier this year had some kind words about polygamists, is expressing concern that Utah's ban on polygamy may be held invalid in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a Texas law against consensual sodomy by homosexuals.
"The legal argument is there," Hatch told The Salt Lake Tribune. "The current Supreme Court ruled that whether a majority of the public opposes a particular practice as immoral, it's not sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting that practice."
He also was concerned about the ruling's potential to legalize same-sex marriage.
"I'm always concerned when the Supreme Court creates new rights out of thin air that are not in the Constitution," the Utah Republican said in a recent interview. "I believe God sanctioned a marriage between a man and a woman and this court decision is being interpreted by some to fly in the face of that."
At a town meeting in St. George last spring, Hatch was confronted by antipolygamists.
"I'm not here to justify polygamy," he said. "All I can say is, I know people in Hildale who are polygamists who are very fine people. You come and show me evidence of children being abused there and I'll get involved. Bring the evidence to me."
Hatch said he would not "sit here and judge anybody just because they live differently than me."
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)