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Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who will likely face a serious if not career-ending primary challenge in 2014 — appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight with his “amigos” John McCain (R-AZ) and the soon-to-be retired Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on Tuesday.

When the subject turned to marriage equality, Graham presented what has become the standard right-wing answer: Let the states decide. When that didn’t satisfy Morgan — who hails from a country where the conservative prime minister is about to push legislation to legalize same-sex marriage — Graham went to another right-wing canard: “Is it okay to have three people marry each other?”

At this point, Graham’s two amigos seem to become visibly nervous.

Graham went on to argue that instead of an amendment to ban gay marriage, which he long endorsed, “the people” should pass an amendment to legalize it. Where did he get such an idea?

Where every politician gets his ideas these days — the movie Lincoln:

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.

As Think ProgressAviva Shen points out, “Graham omitted the fact that the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery was only made possible after the bloodiest war in America’s history.”

Slavery was effectively written into the Constitution with the 3/5 Compromise. What David Boise and Ted Olson — the lawyers who faced each other before the Supreme Court for the case of Bush v. Gore — will argue in 2013 is that the Constitution as amended implicitly allows for marriage equality.

Simply acknowledging that there’s no Constitutional reason to deny the right of any two non-related adults to marry would be a lot easier than a civil war.


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