(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul's criticism of Wednesday's same-sex marriage ruling, which included a rhetorical question about bestiality eventually being made legal, was sarcasm, the Kentucky Republican's office says.
Speaking to conservative radio host Glenn Beck, Paul delved into the question of whether or not lawmakers should imbue legislation with their own morals. Beck set up the statement by wondering whether the court's ruling – which found a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional – could logically lead to polygamy becoming legal.
"If you change one variable – man and a woman – to a man and a man and a woman and a woman, you cannot tell me then that you can't logically change the other variable," Beck said. "One man, three women. One woman, four men. Who are you to say that if I am a devout Muslim and I come over here and I have three wives, who are you to say if I am an American citizen that I can't have multiple marriages?"
Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate whose supporters include a large number of libertarian-leaning conservatives, said Beck was getting at a larger question of whether laws can include moral designations.
"This is a conundrum, and it gets back to what you were saying …whether or not churches should decide this," Paul said. "And it is difficult, because if we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans?"
That remark, his office said, wasn't meant to be taken seriously.
"Sarcasm sometimes doesn't translate adequately from radio conversation," his communications director Moira Bagley said. "Sen. Paul did not suggest that striking down DOMA could lead to unusual marriage arrangements. What he was discussing was that having the state recognize marriage without definition could lead to marriages with no basis in reality."
Later in the interview, Paul stressed the economic importance of stable marriages for children.
"I also see that economically, if you don't look at it with any moral periscope, and you say, 'What is it that is the leading cause of poverty in our country?' It's having kids without marriage," Paul said. "That stability of the marriage unit is enormous, and we should not say we're punting on it and marriage can be anything."
Later, in an interview with ABC News, Paul said he thought the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA was appropriate and said the issue should be one left to the states.
As for the growing divide among Republicans on same-sex marriage, Paul said "the party is going to have to agree to disagree on some of these issues."
CNN's Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
Paul and Beck a scary prospect to begin with. Keep talking paul. Remember we vote too.
"I also see that economically, if you don't look at it with any moral periscope, and you say, 'What is it that is the leading cause of poverty in our country?' It's having kids without marriage," Paul said.
Spoken like someone who has no idea what poverty actually is. The leading cause of poverty is lack of a good education and opportunities.
The more he talks the sooner he walks
so the joke is that gay people are animals to the Pauls?
The more right wing radio programs, the better! Keep talking! I've never understood why there are so many? Do their listeners not work? Can they not think for themselves? I listen to ESPN for commentary by those who know alot about the subjects to which they speak. What possibly could uneducated clowns like Hannity, Beck and Rush have to offer? Well......I might listen to Rush if he had a show on donuts, drugs and divorce. That's the only subjects he knows anything about!
Rand Paul just obliterated any libertarian credibility he had with these ridiculous comments. True libertarians are in favor of gay marriage, as it's one less thing the government needs to control.
sarcasm, yeah right. At least own your statement. You said it, you meant it, now defend it.
Sarcasm like humor is not in republicans DNA.
Who is the comedian that loves to make fun of Beck? During the bailouts, this fool compared it to Nazi Germany. Pssst.......hey Glenn, we are giving you millions of dollars, that's why it's called a bailout. The Nazis came to kill you!
Of course he was being sarcastic. but................makes a good point. Where does it end. Age of consent in Sweden is 15. Shall we let 15 year old marry? How about older people and 15 year olds....you can vote and die for your country in the U.S but you can't have a drink in a bar.....but gay people can marry......I know, I know....the LGBT have better lobbyists
No, Rand, I think people are willing to settle on marriage being between 2 people...but please, keep talking.
Sarcasm or not; he is RIGHT!
So Senators go around saying sarcastically things they don’t mean….Yeah we are just that dumb. Republicans must be voted out
Mr. Paul's definition of "consent" is a little different than that of main stream America. Only consenting adults can get married
This guy claims to be a "libertarian." And he's against same-sex marriage.
What about human-Martian marriages? Where does it stop? C'mon GOP, we've got far worse things to worry about in this country besides who is marrying whom. Like the ECONOMY, JOBS, EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, etc.
"Does it have to be humans?""
Seeing as how this statement proves Randroid to be devoid of humanity, I read it as him pining for the day that he too can have a marriage....at least one recognized as something other than female servitude.
Republicans used to make this same argument about interracial marriage, that if blacks and whites were allowed to marry each other, legalization of marriage to animals was surely not far behind.
I thought libertarians were supposed to be about a small govt. not telling you how to run your personal life.
Since gay couples are raising children, why is it in the interest of the child or the state to prevent the parents from being married?
From these comments, it looks like the left believe in free speech, only if it agrees with their ideology, everyone else,,,,shut up.
This is the guy who claims to be libertarian.
All laws come from a place of morality.
People can demand religion be removed from the legal system, but you'll always have man's interpretation of what's right and wrong as the foundation for our system of law.
It's not finite and it's all relative. That's why when you make the argument that prior beliefs and traditions are not enough reason to prevent changing of the law, then logically there shouldn't be any barriers between whom can get married.
Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
He said what he meant and meant what he said!
That was Dutch from Bad Newz... and now back to "Horton Hears A Who".
"Of course he was being sarcastic"
No he freekin wasn't. "Sarcasm" is his walk-back excuse. He was telegraphing his own belief that gay people are animals and that recognizing the private marital contract between two loving gay people is akin to letting people screw sheep...like he no doubt does on a regular basis.