Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) waffled on his same-sex marriage stance Tuesday night, telling CNN’s Piers Morgan he thinks states should have the right to decide marriage rights.
This is a departure from Graham’s longstanding commitment to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Just four years ago, Graham affirmed his support for a federal amendment that would “define marriage between one man and one woman” as a way to “defend and promote traditional South Carolina values.” Graham’s softened tone against same-sex marriage may have something to do with Americans’ overwhelming support for marriage equality and renewed scrutiny on the issue as the Supreme Court prepares to take it up.
Despite his newfound respect for the right of gay couples to pass on property and “live a free and open life,” Graham also compared gay marriage to polygamy. He asked Morgan, “Is it possible for three people to genuinely love each other and want to share their lives together? Is it OK to have three people marry each other?”
When Morgan pointed out that the debate was about couples, not threesomes, Graham then stated that if “the people” wanted same-sex marriage, they would pass a constitutional amendment legalizing it, just as “the people decided” to pass an amendment to ban slavery:
GRAHAM: Can — can I suggest this? Slavery was outlawed by a Constitutional amendment. Go watch “Lincoln,” a great movie. The people decided. The question for us is who should decide these things? Should it be a handful of judges or should it be the people themselves? And I come out on the side of the people themselves. Different people will look at it differently. But slavery was outlawed by a Constitutional amendment. If you want to propose a Constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage and it passes, that’s the law of the land.
Graham omitted the fact that the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery was only made possible after the bloodiest war in America’s history.