North Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham,
a Republican, has criticized the effort to codify Obergefell
as a distraction.
A bill that seeks to protect same-sex
marriage, the Respect for Marriage Act, cleared the House last month
with the support of 47 Republicans. Democrats who introduced the bill
said that it was necessary after the Supreme Court struck down Roe
v. Wade. Roe and Obergefell were decided on the
right to privacy.
Appearing Sunday on CNN's State of
the Union, Graham said that he thinks states should decide both
“I think states should decide the
issue of marriage and states should decide the issue of abortion,”
he said. “I have respect for South Carolina. South Carolina voters
here I trust to define marriage and to deal with the issue of
abortion. Not nine people on the court. That's my view.”
Graham suggested the effort to codify
the high court's 2015 opinion was an attempt to distract from the
“We're talking about things that
don't happen because [Democrats] don't want to talk about inflation,
[Democrats] don't want to talk about crime,” he said.
He added that he would be a no vote on
the bill: “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.”
In his concurring opinion to the ruling
that overturned Roe, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the
court to reconsider Obergefell.