In a surprisingly conservative move by South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham made a statement saying marriage should be defined and regulated by the states. This as Democratic lawmakers work toward codifying same-sex marriage.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Graham discussed the legal regulations on abortion and marriage following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Clinic.
“I think states should decide the issue of marriage, and states should decide the issue of abortion,” the senator said. “I have respect for South Carolina. South Carolina voters I trust to define marriage and deal with the issue of abortion. Not nine people on the court.”
It’s up to the court to overturn any previous statutes, Graham affirmed.
CNN host Dana Bash, in a desperate attempt to create a false narrative, pressed the Senator on the future of interracial marriage, which was legally protected following Loving v. Virginia. Graham countered claiming Bash had brought up the court’s precedent-setting decision “because you don’t want to talk about inflation, you don’t want to talk about crime.”
“This is all politics, my friends,” Graham said. “Instead of trying to solve problems, we’re talking about constitutional decisions that are still in effect.”
He added, “But if you’re going to ask me to have the federal government take over defining marriage, I’m going to say no.”
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, as part of the June 24 Dobbs decision, that the Court should reconsider its decision that set “substantive due process precedents.” This would include cases that legalized gay marriage and guaranteed access to birth control.
The House of Representatives, in the weeks since the court’s decision, has voted to codify the right to both same-sex and interracial marriage 267-157. Every Democrat voted in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act as did 47 Republicans.
“The Supreme Court’s extremist and precedent-ignoring decision in Dobbs v. Jackson has shown us why it is critical to ensure that federal law protects those whose constitutional rights might be threatened by Republican-controlled state legislatures,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in a statement.
“The millions of same-sex and interracial couples throughout the United States should not have to live with the fear that extremist Supreme Court justices – who act as though they are legislators – could end legal recognition for their families or prevent millions of others from being able to build families with equal legal status,” Hoyer continued. “They deserve the assurance that their marriages will always be recognized in every city, county, and state across the country.”
The Senate is expected to vote on the bill in September. At least 5 senators have signaled their intent to support the policy which narrows the gap to a 60-vote majority.