- The Washington Times - Friday, June 26, 2015

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday he “will respect” the Supreme Court’s ruling against state bans on same-sex marriage.

The South Carolina Republican and 2016 presidential candidate also said it would be a waste of time to try to amend the Constitution to block gay men and lesbian women from marriage. Mr. Graham said the nation would be better off focusing its efforts on protecting religious liberty.

“I am a proud defender of traditional marriage and believe the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws,” Mr. Graham said.  “However, the Supreme Court has ruled that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, and I will respect the Court’s decision.”

Mr. Graham said the shift of public opinion on the issue would likely doom any effort to adopt a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“Rather than pursing a divisive effort that would be doomed to fail, I am committing myself to ensuring the protection of religious liberties of all Americans,” he said. “No person of faith should ever be forced by the federal government to take action that goes against his or her conscience or the tenets of their religion.”

“As president, I would staunchly defend religious liberty in this nation and would devote the necessary federal resources to the protection of all Americans from any effort to hinder the free and full exercise of their rights. While we have differences, it is time for us to move forward together respectfully and as one people,” Mr. Graham said.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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