• Sen. Lindsey Graham reiterated on Sunday he thinks same-sex marriage should be a state issue.
  • When asked about interracial marriage, Graham said it was being used to distract from inflation.
  • Graham said the federal government should not be responsible for defining marriage.

Sen. Lindsey Graham reiterated his stance that same-sex marriage should be a state-by-state issue but dodged a question on whether or not he feels the same way about interracial marriage.

The South Carolina Republican was asked on Sunday by CNN "State of the Union" host Dana Bash whether or not he thinks Obergefell — the 2015 Supreme Court decision that established the right to same-sex marriage — should be overturned.

"No. I'm saying that I don't think it's going to be overturned," 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 explained he trusts South Carolina voters, rather than the high court, to make those decisions via their elected representatives.


Bash asked how many other issues that logic would apply to and asked specifically about Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision that protected the right to interracial marriage.

Graham interjected: "No. No. Here's the point. We are talking about things that are not happening because you don't want to talk about inflation. You don't want to talk about crime. This is all politics my friends. Instead of trying to solve problems like unstable people having guns, 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,'" he said.

Lawmakers have been discussing legislation to protect same-sex marriage after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested Obergefell should be revisited in light of the Roe v. Wade reversal.

Thomas said the court should reconsider rulings on access to contraception and same-sex relationships but notably did not mention the ruling that protected interracial marriage. Thomas, who is Black, is married to a white woman.

The House passed a bill last month that would protect same-sex marriage rights.

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 planned to vote against the same-sex marriage bill when it comes before the Senate.

"I respect the voters in South Carolina and I'm going to allow this issue with my vote in Washington to be decided by them," the article quotes Graham as saying on July 25. Graham also said he disagreed with the legal reasoning of Obergefell but respected it as the law of the land.

The Post and Courier article did not mention interracial marriage.

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