Senator Lindsey Graham says ‘states should decide the issue of marriage’ (Kevin Dietsch/Getty)
US Republican senator Lindsey Graham has said states should decide if same-sex marriage is legal.
Amid discussions over legislation that would implement legal protections for same-sex married couples, Graham said he had been consistent in his view that “states should decide the issue of marriage” and not “nine people on the court” during CNN‘s State of the Union, according to The Epoch Times.
The Respect for Marriage Act – which aims to repeal certain Clinton-era declarations that represent an archaic view of marriage – was transferred to the Senate after passing a vote in the House of Representatives on 19 July.
A surprising 47 Republicans voted alongside all 220 House Democrats in support of the bill, with a remaining 157 total House Republicans voting against it.
Despite assumptions the bill would be blocked by Senate Republicans upon arrival, several have come out in support of the bill, including Susan Collins, Rob Portman, Lisa Murkowski, and Thom Tillis.
Other Republicans have criticised the bill. Like them, Lindsey Graham says it is merely a political tactic by Democrats to gain an upper hand during the upcoming mid-term elections.
“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,” he said.
Fears that Obergefell v Hodges – which implemented nationwide legislation on same-sex marriage – might be overturned by the Supreme Court grew after justice Clarence Thomas used his concurring opinion on Roe v Wade’s overturning to take aim at several rulings, including Obergefell itself.
Thomas said that the nullification paves the way for an opportunity to consider “all of this court’s substantive due process precedent”, which also included a law legalising contraceptives and another that ruled “sodomy” bans were unconstitutional.
If overruled, legislation such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Respect for Marriage Act is actively attempting to amend, would come back into effect, including its declaration that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
In an attempt to mitigate the damage done by Roe’s nullification, Democrats suggested a change to the Senate filibuster rule on 30 June in order to allow Congress to pass abortion rights laws, a move Lindsey Graham called an “assault on democracy.”
“These people are crazy. They want to pack the Supreme Court. They want to abolish the Electoral College so New York and California can pick the president. They want to federalize all elections so they can ballot-harvest and do away with voter I.D,” he said in a tweet.
New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit back against the claim in a follow-up tweet, saying: “You sound insecure. As you should be.
“Your attempt to seize bodily autonomy from millions of women & LGBT+ people is a stain on our country. I don’t care how long you “worked” to seize control of people’s bodies. That right belongs to individuals, not you. We will not comply,” she continued.
The Republican senator is notorious for his anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, including a vow to take up arms to defend fast food chain Chick-fil-A after students at the University of Notre Dame opposed a branch opening on campus due to the company’s anti-LGBTQ+ donations.
“I have always thought Notre Dame was one of the greatest universities in America, if not the world,” he tweeted last month.
“It’s disappointing to hear some ND students and faculty want to ban Chick-fil-A from doing business on campus because they disagree with the values held by the Chick-fil-A founders. What a dangerous precedent to set.”