Lindsey Graham says same-sex marriage should be left to the states but pivots from question on interracial marriage

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during questioning of Supreme Court nominee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on day two of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 23, 2022.
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Senator Lindsey Graham reiterated on Sunday that he believes same-sex marriage should be a state matter.
When asked about the interracial marriage, Graham said it is being used to distract from inflation.
Graham said the federal government shouldn't be responsible for defining marriage.
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Senator Lindsey Graham reiterated his stance that same-sex marriage should be a state-to-state matter, but dodged a question as to whether or not he had the same opinion about interracial marriage.
The South Carolina Republican was asked by CNN State of the Union host Dana Bash on Sunday if he thought Obergefell -- the Supreme Court's 2015 decision establishing the right to same-sex marriage -- should be overturned or not.
"No. I'm saying I don't think it will be lifted," he began. "The point I'm trying to make is — I've been consistent — I think states should decide the issue of marriage, and I think states should decide the issue of abortion."
Graham said he trusts South Carolina voters, not the Supreme Court, to make these decisions about their elected representatives.
Bash asked how many other topics this logic would apply to, specifically asking about Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision protecting interracial marriage rights.
Graham interjected, "No. no Here's the point. 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. It's all politics, my friends. Instead of trying to solve problems like unstable people with guns, we are talking about constitutional decisions that are still in effect.
"But if you ask me to let the federal government adopt the definition of marriage, I will say 'no,'" he said.
Lawmakers have been debating legislation protecting same-sex marriage after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested Obergefell be dismissed in light of the Roe v. to revisit Wade.
Thomas said the court should reconsider rulings on contraceptive access and same-sex relationships, but specifically failed to mention the ruling that protected interracial marriage. Thomas, who is black, is married to a white woman.
The House of Representatives last month passed legislation designed to protect the rights of same-sex marriages.
When contacted by Insider, a representative for Graham forwarded a story from The Post and Courier, a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, that said the senator plans to vote against the same-sex marriage bill if it comes before the Senate.
"I respect the voters in South Carolina and will let them decide this issue with my vote in Washington," the July 25 article quoted Graham as saying. Graham also said he disagreed with Obergefell's legal justification but respected it as the law of the country.
The Post and Courier article made no mention of interracial marriage.
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Lindsey Graham
American politician

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