Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) will vote this week in support of a constitutional amendment protecting the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The vote is scheduled to occur on Wednesday.
“I believe in the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” said Graham. “Traditional marriage is an institution worth protecting and this amendment will accomplish that goal. A constitutional amendment is the only effective way to cut off the growing trend among judges to create a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”
Graham noted nine states – California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Washington – are facing lawsuits challenging the state’s traditional marriage laws. In four of those (California, Maryland, New York and Washington), courts have found a right to same-sex marriage in state constitutional provisions related to equal protection and due process. In each case, the court relied in part on the historic 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in that state.
On the federal level, a Nebraska federal district court found a 2005 constitutional amendment passed by 70 percent of the voters to be unconstitutional. The case has been appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. There are also lawsuits challenging the traditional definition of marriage in federal courts currently pending in four states.
“There have been a series of court decisions at the state and federal level where judges have held there is a constitutional right for same-sex marriage,” said Graham. “If marriage is ever to be redefined, it needs to be done by the people’s elected representatives, not a handful of activist judges.”