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Orrin Hatch's press secretary said the U.S. senator from Utah receives about 1,000 pieces of mail each day.

He may want to brace for more.

Bishops of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were expected to read a letter today in ward houses across the country urging their congregations to contact their Senate representatives in support of a proposed Marriage Protection Amendment.

"We, as the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, have repeatedly set forth our position that the marriage of a man and a woman is the only acceptable marriage relationship," the LDS Church's letter states in part.

Hatch is a co-sponsor of the proposed constitutional amendment that specifies marriage would only be recognized between a man and a woman.

"We must amend the Constitution to defend traditional marriage from being undermined," Hatch said in a statement earlier this month. "The bedrock of society is the family, and it is traditional marriage that undergirds the family.

But recent court decisions have proven that some courts are usurping the role of legislatures by creating their own definitions of marriage."

The letter to be read today mentions a proclamation the church made in 1995.

"In that proclamation we said: 'We call upon responsible citizens and officers of the government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.' "

Church Spokesman Dale Bills refused to comment further on the church's decision to issue the letter.

Several calls to gay and lesbian organizations in Utah were not returned Saturday.

A representative for Utah Sen. Bob Bennett's office did not reply to questions.

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l To read the complete letter, visit the church's Web site at