Sen. Lindsey Graham Backpedals On Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage

In a joint interview with Piers Morgan on CNN last night, three of the Senate’s most visible faces sounded off on same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments in two cases concerning marriage equality.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) discussed the possibility that the high court could rule in the Proposition 8 case that the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of same-sex couples to marry, thus rendering state laws banning same-sex marriage null.

Graham, who has previously supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, appeared to waffle on his position, stating that he believes marriage should be decided at the state level. Amending the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage would forbid states from deciding the issue on their own. 

“In my state, we’re not going to change the traditional definition of marriage and I would support the traditional definition of marriage not out of hate but out of that I believe that’s just best for society,” said Graham. “At the end of the day states will come out differently on this issue and I think that’s the way it should be.”

“That’s the principle of the conservative federalist belief,” added McCain.

After briefly comparing same-sex marriage to polygamy, Graham also argued that if “the people” wanted to permit same-sex marriage, Congress should pass a constitutional amendment making marriage equality the law of the land, much as the 14th Amendment outlawed slavery.

“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,” Graham said. “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.”

WATCH part of the exchange here via ThinkProgress:

Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's political editor and White House correspondent. He can be reached at jsnow@metroweekly.com.

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