Aug 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Lindsey Graham says let states decide on same-sex marriage

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday he believes recognition of same-sex marriage should be decided on a state-by-state basis and not by the federal government.

Driving the news: Democratic lawmakers have in recent weeks pushed to pass legislation codifying marriage equality. The bill has passed the House and currently sits in the Senate.

What they're saying: Graham said he believes the Supreme Court's 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage would not be overturned, but that doing so "would be up to the court."

  • "I think states should decide the issue of marriage and states should decide the issue of abortion," Graham said.
  • "I have respect for South Carolina. South Carolina voters here I trust to define marriage and to deal with the issue of abortion. Not nine people on the court. That's my view."
  • "We're talking about things that don't happen because you don't want to talk about inflation, you don't want to talk about crime," Graham added, referencing Democrats.
  • "We're talking about constitutional decisions that are still in effect. But if you're going to ask me to have the federal government take over defining marriage, I'm going to say no."

The backdrop: Justice Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion to the ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, indicated that the Supreme Court should also reconsider opinions protecting same-sex relationships, marriage equality and access to contraceptives.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who joined Graham on the program, said the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling should be codified because "there's a real danger of it being overturned by the Supreme Court."

  • "This Supreme Court has indicated it has a hit list, beginning with marriage equality, contraception, possibly others as well, Loving v. Virginia," Blumenthal added.
Go deeper