(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.
Kentucky Republican, enough said.
Isn't Glen Beck a Mormom? Pretty sure they were cool with polygamy.
Pedophilia should remain illegal because of the consent issue, but polygamy should be allowed among consenting adults
LOVE the headline CNN – doing YOUR part for the 'Liberal' cause associating the only sane voice in DC with bestiality simply because he's GOP. Not that I expect better – I know who you people are, and you're NOT journalists – just calling you out.
Dad de oh. And so what if other people "marry" more than one? If they all agree to it what is the problem?
Really how much different is this than a joint bank account, a will, a power of attorney, and dependents and beneficiaries? Its because of the Oooga booga religious implications?
Just another Republican bigot finally rearing his ugly mind for all to see. How can anyone be a party to that?
Sen. Rand Paul wants to lead us back to the 13th century. I hope the GOP runs him.
He look's like he has a big old tick on his pinky finger. Prolly got it while romancing one of his hound dogs.
It's all right though, he proposed and that is legal in KY.
If you use the bible as an example. The overwhelming pattern set for humans is one man with many women. I don't know all these people claim to clutch their bibles saying it's just a man and a woman. That's only been the case for a very short period of human history.
Hey, man, what's the big deal? If the animal digs it and the person digs it, so what? Same with polygamy.
"Marriage" is however anyone wants to define it. That's what "freedom" and "democracy" mean, people.
Rand Paul spoke the truth, even if he didn't intend to. At least Obama gets it.
I hope his kids all come out gay so that he can back track on these stupid opinions he keeps dishing out.
@KBNJ, give it a rest loser. Paul made the comments, CNN reported it. Get over yourself
Why is it that Paula Deen gets dragged through the coals for her alleged statements and yet politicians like Rand Paul are getting away with this garbage without being held to account for their ignorant and destructive statements. When will people get fed up with this nonsense?
Best thing you can say about this guy is that he's not afraid to be on the wrong side of history.
What's the story here? He quipped that if you start redefining where does it end up? If he pursued that train of thought seriously then there's a story. He told ABC he thought the SCOTUS ruling was correct. I'm not a Paul supporter, but considering he was on Becks show I don't think he did more than express some sentiment and concern that people have. Headline worth? Well the ad people probably think so, it will get clicks.
Okay. Let's see him sponsor a bill that says marriage is only between 2 consenting humans, age 18 and over. That wouls sastify his qualms.
And yet, no when can rebut the validity of his statement.
Honestly, do these clowns ever get tired to talking garbage? Some day they will realize that they were on the wrong side of history. First it was African Americans, then women rights, now gay equality. Wow! Still fuming that your party can't get things in order since Obama's re-election. Too many wing nuts pushing the agenda.
It wasn't sarcasm, it was a genuine question.
Only after Paul's staff informed him that most Americans are NOT perverts imagining the worst of their neighbors, did he attempt to backtrack by claiming 'sarcasm.
Glenn Beck is on the radio? Wow-who the heck would listen to inane commentary geared to low functioning adults. Oh-low functioning adults!
Who the heck do the politician think they are telling people who they can & can not marry? As for all the remarks on just about every political agenda, what ever happened to the separation of church n state? It's time for the politions to look at divorce rates between men & woman. I myself am straight & all the gay couples I have known are either still together or have at least out lasted most marriages. Who is a judge to tell me or anyone else who we can love. Besides, let's use McGreevy for example. How many of you are leading double lives?
It is the same every day: No class, no dignity, stupidity galore: Same old, same old GOP. Vote them out of office, all of them.
Dumb and Dumber trying to talk about big people issues.
The solution is simple. Get the government out of the marriage business altogether. No government sponsored marriages. No differences in laws for people whether they are married or not. Set up some kind of civil union so groups of people can obtain visitation rights, child care rights, or inheritance.