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For week ended August 15, 1999 Posted 29 Aug 1999

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Hatch Denies He Is Biased Against Gays

Summarized by Nicholas Maddox

Hatch Denies He Is Biased Against Gays
Salt Lake Tribune 13Aug99 L1
By John Heilprin: Salt Lake Tribune

GOP presidential nomination candidate 65-year-old Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is drawing criticism for his views and comments on homosexuality. Over a decade ago Hatch made public comments concerning homosexuals and the Democratic Party. He is still doing political double speak to defuse those remarks.

Hatch, a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says his views are rooted in the Mormon faith. "It's a religious belief to me that homosexuality flies in the face of biblical teachings. Now, where I have difficulties is in determining whether it's a genetic predisposition or whether it is a choice." Hatch, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said "choice" is a factor in sexuality. He believes that the gay lifestyle is "scripturally wrong" and supports the church's stand against homosexual marriage. "I don't think anybody should be discriminated against," he said. "Now, does that mean I would accept gay marriages to be on a par with Heterosexual marriages? No, I won't. I don't think that's right."

Although he takes a tough stand on homosexual marriage he has been an advocate in supporting fund raising to combat pediatric AIDS, legislation affecting AIDS and hate crimes and political appoints of avowed homosexuals.

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