March 28th, 2013
06:10 PM ET
2 years ago

Rush Limbaugh concedes conservatives 'lost' marriage debate

(CNN) - Conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage must accept that they’ve “lost the issue,” radio host Rush Limbaugh argued Thursday.

“This issue is lost,” the conservative firebrand said. “I don't care what the Supreme Court does, this is now inevitable - and it's inevitable because we lost the language on this. “

Limbaugh went on to assert conservatives “lost the issue when we started allowing the word ‘marriage’ to be bastardized and redefined by simply adding words to it.”

“Marriage is one thing, and it was not established on the basis of discrimination,” he continued. “It wasn't established on the basis of denying people anything. ‘Marriage’ is not a tradition that a bunch of people concocted to be mean to other people with. But we allowed the left to have people believe that it was structured that way. “

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the legality of same-sex marriage earlier this week.

Another notable conservative, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, said on Tuesday that same-sex marriage advocates have a more convincing argument than opponents, who do nothing but rehash scripture to make their point.

"The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals," O'Reilly said Tuesday on Fox. "That's where the compelling argument is. 'We're Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.' That's a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn't been able to do anything but thump the Bible."

O'Reilly has previously stated he takes a libertarian view on the issue, and repeated Tuesday night that it's a decision that should be left up to the states. "I support civil unions. I always have. The gay marriage thing, I don't feel that strongly about it one way or another."


Filed under: Rush Limbaugh • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (400 Responses)
  1. Farify for Me

    There's a difference between marriage and civil unions. Civil union comes with no rights, it's just a formal acknowledgement of the union between two people. Marriage can be a religious rite but religion does not dictate the legal rights associated swith it. Religions can marry who it wants and who it doesn't. The government has the sole power to determine what rights are afforded to married couples and that's where the debate lays.
    Answer me this; Married couples, as acknowledged by the federal government, can own property together in with the protection that they own it together and separately (tenants by the entireity). This in turn prevents someone from taking ownership as a result of a law suit against one of the parties, e.g. if the man is involved in a serious car accident (car registered to him) where he is at fault, the plantiff could not get relief in the form of the man's property. This right is only afforded to "married" couples. The federal government only considers marriage to be between a man and a woman. So a homosexual couple legally married by state law does not get this protection. Is that fair??? Call it a civil union, marriage, legally joined, whatever. The argument is whether homosexual couples can be joined formally and receive the same rights under the federal law that heterosexuals do . It affects taxes, property ownership, transition of assets after death and many many more. I really don't see what the problem is. Call it something and provide the rights.

    March 29, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Fair is Fair

    The_Mick

    Fair is Fair wrote to
    jodipo36 who wrote:

    Only gonna say this once. Marriage is not a biblical invention. You "Christians" stating it is are flat out ignorant. Marriage existed long before Christianity did.
    -
    No one ever said Christianity invented marriage... Christianity had been around for only 2000 years. The Old Testament refers to marraige and was written thousands of years before Christianity.
    -----
    Marriage existed and was written about THOUSANDS of years before the Old Testament which, by the way, isn't "thousands" of years before Christianity. Moses, or whoever his legend represents, lived 1.8 thousand years before Christianity
    ------
    Mick... you are correct in that moses lived 1.8K years before Christianity. Moses is credited with writing the first 5 books of the Old Testament (the Jewish Torah, the Pentateuch... however one refers to it). The events in the first book of Moses (Genesis) predated Moses by thousands of years... so you add you 1.8K years to the thousands of years represented in Genesis and you indeed have "thousands of years".

    March 29, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Debbie

    Here we go again. Limbaugh thinks the "right" lost because of wording. That old "we have the correct ideology, but failed in communicating it" excuse.
    Sorry, but people see through that. Give Americans more credit to know what they want. Don't tell them they are wrong and that the extreme right is only looking out for their welfare.

    March 29, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. TexasVoter

    Conservative Republican's problem with this is, they do not believe in freedom. They lean more to the side that not all are equal and the government should tell people what they do with their own body. It is no ones business who someone marries except the ones getting married. It's no ones business when a woman is told if she has a baby that has a slim chance of living and also having that baby will kill her that she choses Life, her life.

    March 29, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. CG

    It's just none of our business who marries who. It's a private issue, not a government one.

    March 29, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. John

    I have posted this elsewhere. Marriage is between a man and woman.

    Gay's should have the right to a civil union that gives them all the same rights a marriage does between a man and woman. It is crazy that two men or two women can't be legally bound and be covered on insurance, etc. Maybe it is the big insurance companies that don't want this because they will have to start covering more people.

    March 29, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Tim

    I can't believe Rush admitted defeat, wow, that must have been a hard cigar for him to swallow.

    March 29, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Ken

    Limbaugh and Gingrich, amoung others, have made a mockery of the meaning of "marriage". To them marriage means the union between one man and one woman, and another woman, and another woman, and another.......

    March 29, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. TheMovieFan

    His RNC masters instructed him that this issue needs to be dropped.

    March 29, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. Thomas Jefferson

    Rush who?

    March 29, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Ron

    "Coyote
    Its time to grow up conservatives. Intelectualism is on the rise!"

    I guess spelling isn't on the rise.

    March 29, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Blue Dog

    Marriage is betwen 2 consenting adults. Which adults, should be none of my business.

    March 29, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Ken

    I'd like to see the government get out of the business of discriminating in favor of married people at the expense of single people. Tax breaks, inheritance privileges, legal rights, hopsitla visitation rights and on and on - they almost always favor married people. Talk about "legislating morality". At any rate, I think if you took the financial incentives out of being married, there wouldn't be as much interest in it from gays, or from singles in general. There would still be the "equal treatment" issue, which is significant, but the financial incentives would be removed. When financial incentives are removed, you typically get less of that particular behavior. Because the gov't has taken sides in favor of marrieds at the expense of singles, this is a civil rights issue....and not just a gay vs. straight issue. What I think will be interesting to watch is what happens when gays have to start paying alimony after a divorce. In today's world when gays "divorce" for the most part the financial consequences are far less severe than in a hetero divorce. Like they say...."Be careful what you ask for!".

    March 29, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. janer52

    hasn't limbaugh left the country yet?

    March 29, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. nothing new here

    Wendy

    So if we allow gay marriage then we start allowing persons to be married to multiple persons and we allow some idiot who wants to marry his barn animals? Any type of union can be considered marriage therefore the welfare system goes further into debt than it already is right? Any crazy fool can marry anything, anyone and it be considered marriage... Sad to say that in America we have become so open minded that our brains are falling out !!!
    ___________________
    This post confirms why the traditionalists are losing this debate...quick fast and in a hurry.
    Nobody – nobody – brought up animals in this conversation until now.
    So why lower the conversation to these levels?

    March 29, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    The_Mick

    Fair is Fair wrote to
    jodipo36 who wrote:

    Only gonna say this once. Marriage is not a biblical invention. You "Christians" stating it is are flat out ignorant. Marriage existed long before Christianity did.
    -
    No one ever said Christianity invented marriage... Christianity had been around for only 2000 years. The Old Testament refers to marraige and was written thousands of years before Christianity.
    -–
    Marriage existed and was written about THOUSANDS of years before the Old Testament which, by the way, isn't "thousands" of years before Christianity. Moses, or whoever his legend represents, lived 1.8 thousand years before Christianity
    --
    Mick... you are correct in that moses lived 1.8K years before Christianity. Moses is credited with writing the first 5 books of the Old Testament (the Jewish Torah, the Pentateuch... however one refers to it). The events in the first book of Moses (Genesis) predated Moses by thousands of years... so you add you 1.8K years to the thousands of years represented in Genesis and you indeed have "thousands of years".
    ****************
    Thousands of years of what? What calender were they using? What systems of records conclusively proves this? All you are relying on is your own faith and interpretation, which is not the same as proof. For someone who loves to google things and throw out links, this is a remarkably weak arguement to bring to a discussion about the origins of marriage. Not your best work, Fair.

    March 29, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. JacinJax

    @Jimmy
    We already define words. There are 1100 Federal laws that depend on that definition so you are coming late to the party.

    March 29, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. ViTats

    in the sense that marriage being a religious thing. I think churches and other religious institutions should not be forced to marry those who their religion discriminates against (religion is, after all, organized discrimination) This is in mind with the separation of church and state, the state cannot decide how a religion should conduct its beliefs.

    Having said that. Marriage as a legal thing, should not be restricted by race, religion, national origin, sexual preference, or gender. And it should not be considered, in the eyes of the law, whether the two individuals wishing to marry fit into any of these categories or not. Secular marriage and Religious marriage are simply not the same thing. I think this is where the argument lies. religious people fear that their traditions will be altered to a point outside of their belief structure, while other (less or non religious) people simple want equality for a section of the people that are not granted the same rights as the majority. History is being written on the walls right now, and what side you end up on is up to you.

    March 29, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. us_1776

    Limbaugh?

    Is this guy still relevant?

    .

    March 29, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. gecko

    I agree with CG to a point; however, to have your marriage legally recognized, this IS a government issue. The question is simple: Is it unconstitutional to deny a group of people the right to marry based on their sexual orientation and choice of partner? The answer is: Yes. It's not a moral matter, or a religious matter. Those views have no place in the debate.

    March 29, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. xirume

    These days the right is always wrong.

    March 29, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. ck

    @ Farify for Me

    Exactly right. I don't understand how the argument is so frequently hijacked into something that it is not. This has nothing to do with religious/spiritual treatment of marriage. It has everything to do with the fair treatment afforded to all by the constitution and its amendments.

    March 29, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. SV

    The only way Republicans can win is by cheating. And then they start thinking it's okay cuz their god let them get away with it.

    March 29, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. bspurloc

    till death does us part. DIVORCE... religion is always interpreted with self centered reasons by individuals.
    no bible defines marriage and no bible ANYWHERE created marriage. marriage predates recorded records bibles do not. marriage came first.

    March 29, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Smacky Smooth

    Argue with God all you want, they just want to keep their ratings up. Bad is good, war is peace, white is black, keep saying it loud and long enough, folks will believe you. I will follow God's law which is love HIm above all else and love your neighbor as yourself. This means I love gays too (especially my brilliant stepson). OOOps was that too much Bible thumping? Mr. O'Reilly and Limbaugh have only two gods, themselves and Money!

    March 29, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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