Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham last night used polygamy and murder to define the boundaries of the “debate” on same-sex marriage, just as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia used murder and bestiality to define the area of debate in which same-sex marriage should exist. Invoking issues like murder, bestiality, and polygamy is offensive and wholly facetious, and “facile,” as Piers Morgan responded. Senator Graham also blamed the media for the public’s embrace of marriage equality, and — when all was said and done — stated he believes the states should have the right to decide who marries and who does not, especially because in his home state of South Carolina, religion is the reason “we’re not going to change the definition of traditional marriage.”
Graham, who says the media paints LGBT people as “funny, charming, and kind” — as if that’s problematic — says he doesn’t “hate,” he just feels “traditional marriage” is “best for society,” and challenged CNN host Piers Morgan to pass a constitutional amendment if he wants same-sex couples to be able to marry.
Morgan attacked Senators Graham, McCain, and Lieberman as “unAmerican” for their views on marriage equality.
Despite the nasty rhetoric, the invoking of polygamy and murder in his argument against same-sex marriage, Aviva Shen at Think Progress rightly notes that Graham is softening a bit on the marriage equality issue.
“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’,” Shen writes:
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?”
It’s time for more people to have the good sense to take the tone and approach of Princeton freshman Duncan Hosie, who this week won accolades for personally up — in the same room — to Scalia for his usage of murder, bestiality, and other inappropriate references when discussing the right of same-sex couple to civil marriage.
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