(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.
People are NOT beasts. Sick to death of this crap.
Rand Paul is one insanely "sick" human being. Thank God he's a Republican. Paul perpetuates the GOP as the party of "hate" and "stupidity".
Rand Paul perpetuates the Republican party as the party of "hate" and "stupidity". What an insane human being!
Paul and Beck, Throw in Limbaugh and they still are less talented than the 3 stooges!
What about the person who wants to be married to one or more women plus one or more men at the same time? Is this not an equally protected lifestyle?
Did Paul say "Bestiality" or did CNN say "Bestiality" just wondering....
I thought libertarians wanted to keep gov't out of our personal lives? I guess not. Only when it's convenient for them. Churches have the right to deny marriage between people for any number of reasons but the gov't needs to accept that gay marriage exists, has always existed (even if in secret) and we need to move out of the 18th century.
Funny how his says his remark wasn't meant to be taken seriously. As if anyone takes anything he says seriously.
Hey lexagon, how can he be on the wrong side of history? So, something as absolutely silly and screwed up as a man "marrying" another man is on the RIGHT side of history? So, putting anything religious aside, the fact that it's been man + woman for thousands of years as mates, i.e. marriage (because without that, you don't procreate the species, Einstein), all that is garbage, and twinks like you are on the RIGHT side of history? Yeah, keep telling yourself that.
Please, GOP, stop having prominent figures make stupid and offensive comments to the wide wide world... We need a two-party system in the USA. Don't give it all to the Democrats.
Just another ignorant comment coming out of that hole in his face. He and his father are both nuts.
It's called a slippery slope for a reason. The further down we slide, the more loudly those with differing values criticize their moral adversaries.
If you want to run for president, Paul. You're going to have to learn to be far more careful with "sarcasm". :-)
if marriage is not defined by the BIble, which is how we have defined it in the past, then we can now define marriage however we want. So the only thing keeping the US from recognising things like polygamy or bestiality as marriage is popular opinion. We seem to now be a culture that defines truth by what the majority of people believe in. When the day comes that the majority believe in some really horrid things, then perhaps we will realise moral rights and wrongs are not merely human opinions.
What the HECK is Beck doing complaining about polygamy. What is he, some kind of socialist atheist? Polygamy is CLEARLY promoted in the Bible. God even REQUIRES it at times. If your brother dies and leaves behind a wife, you are REQUIRED to marry your brother's widow regardless of whether you are already married or not. Where does Beck think he gets off blaspheming against God's laws? :-)
@Pat: what did Paul say that was really so outrageous? Fifty years ago, when we were struggling through the Civil Rights reforms, the idea of gay rights was considered ridiculous. Religion is obviously becoming less of an influence in our country, so why do you think polygamy–or even beastiality, for that matter– won't be the next social rights cause in another thirty to fifty years?
For someone who is obviously smart if he really is a Doctor, Young Doctor Paul sure is stu pid.
He's right about the economics of straight marriage. It keeps divorce lawyers busy. Half of all straight marriages end up in divorce. Talk about values.
Blessed are the self-righteous.
And this guy wants to be president. Well I wish him the best
Conservative bigots live in their own, hateful worlds. They don't have gay friends, they don't know any gay people, they know nothing which is why they can say stupid things without a hint of irony, or sarcasm. People are starting to comprehend just how vile conservatives truly are and it's going to cost them everything. Good.
The GOP is no longer a political party – it is a religious party. By all means, worship as you see fit – that is what religious freedom is all about. But many religious people are utterly intolerant of those who believe differently from themselves. The rabid opposition to gays and lesbians is rooted in the interpretation of religious dogma, which the more zealous believe should trump law and civil rights. The GOP has become the mouthpiece for the religious fundamentalists in America. Every Sunday morning, they are told to clamp their minds shut, and steel themselves against logic, reason, compassion, empathy, and any regard for the rights of others. Worship as you like, but please refrain from attempts to make your doctrine into law that the rest of us are obliged to follow.
You liberals must really be afraid of him to distort his word out of context and run this headline for days. He really scares you doesn't he? I am not a big fan, but then I dislike him less than CNN.
I'm not sure why all the fuss, it's a legitimate and logical question. What's next?
This is the typical stuff you hear anytime gay people make any headway in getting full equality, that gay marriage will open the floodgates to all kinds of marriages, to marriages involving more than 2 people, involving non-human animals, etc, of marriages between adults and young children. The fact that this is where these folks' mind goes should make people worry more about them then about gay people! As far as multiple marriages and marriages to minors....hasn't Rand Paul or anyone else noticed that there is a show about polygamy on TV right now (Discovery Channel I think)! And that straight polygamists often are grown men who marry girls who are younger than 16?? Why aren't these people like Rand Paul not making a big fuss over that?!? I mean if people like him think that gay marriage will lead to polygamy they are wrong, there are already a lot of polygamists in the US, and they have been there long before any state legalized gay marriage.