(USA TODAY) -- GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said gay marriage is likely to become the "law of the land."
"Let's face it. Anybody that does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn't been observing what's going on," the Utah senator said Wednesday during an interview on KSL NewsRadio. "The trend right now in the courts is to permit gay marriage and anybody who doesn't admit that just isn't living in the real world."
Hatch is opposed to same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court has put a halt to such unions in conservative Utah while the state appeals a federal district court's ruling that legalized gay marriage. Same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Hatch said in the interview that he is opposed to a ruling by a Utah federal judge related to gay marriage, but he believes that "sooner or later" same-sex marriage will be approved on a broad scale by the Supreme Court.
"I don't think that's the right way to go," he said. "But on the other hand I do accept whatever the courts say."
In the Senate, Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois are the only Republicans who support gay marriage.