SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah officials say it will cost some $2 million to hire outside counsel to fight a federal judge's ruling striking down Utah's voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Attorney General Sean Reyes, who was named Monday to replace his embattled predecessor John Swallow, met with the state House GOP leadership on Friday to lay out his case for bringing in outside legal help.

House Speaker Becky Lockhart told KSL that Reyes is assuming office in the ``middle'' of the battle over U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby's Dec. 20 ruling and the state needs the best legal counsel it can get.

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser says he would likely be willing to appropriate the funds for outside counsel because the ruling was a ``big deal'' for the conservative state.