Rand Paul bestiality comment 'sarcasm,' office says
June 27th, 2013
10:24 AM ET
10 months ago

Rand Paul bestiality comment 'sarcasm,' office says

(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.


Filed under: Rand Paul • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (582 Responses)
  1. MS

    The GOP was right! I awoke this morning to find I am now attracted to sheep! It is a slippery slope. after all.

    June 27, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Sean

    He wasn't being sarcastic. He's an insane bigot and racist just like his loony dad.

    June 27, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Wilson

    @Rudy NYC

    "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.
    ----
    I partially disagree with you. Lack of good education, yes (the reasons for that, perhaps not, depending on why you think it is so). Opportunities, no. The opportunities are there, but we have turned into a lazy entitlement society, case in point, the increase in numbers of people on food stamps/welfare and the numbers that have stopped looking for jobs (that are not "retired.")

    June 27, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Jeremy C

    "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.

    -and here I thought the leading cause of poverty was the poverty level wages of most the available jobs out there due. Thank you Rand for this amazing piece of news! We don't need living wages to raise out of poverty, but marriage! Just one question, though... The 1% that are divorced with kids – how do they work into your formula? Or how about the married couples living in poverty due to a minimum wage so low that the average workers wage has stagnated for 3 decades? This guy is as crazy as his father.

    June 27, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. maximusvad

    His comment is like many GOP subtle racist comments....skirt it carefully and then call it sarcasm.....we see through you like we saw through Romney in 2012.

    June 27, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Women are People too

    "Speaking to conservative radio host Glenn Beck, Paul delved into the question of whether or not lawmakers should imbue legislation with their own morals."

    Oh, but conservatives feel free to legislate all over women's reproductive rights due to conservative "morals." Give me a break.

    June 27, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Jeff

    He may have said it in sarcasm, but I agree (well, not on the beast part). Polygamy and incest are far more common worldwide than gay marriage, why do we spend time prosecuting guys in Utah over having multiple wives? Why do we prosecute family members that want to get married (and don't give me the birth defects thing, we've established with gay rights that procreation can't be considered for marriage purposes, and we don't stop people with known genetic defects from marrying).

    If you are truly for marriage equality, you cannot logically support such bans, otherwise you are just as close minded as those rallying against gay marriage.

    June 27, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Steve

    if polygamy get legalized will all the Mormons, who fled to Mexico in search of religious freedom, return?

    June 27, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    DCBuck

    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.
    ------------------–
    The Pauls have given libertarianism a bad name due to their extreme makeover that I call neo-libertarianism.

    June 27, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Dave

    @True Libertarian – Gary Johnson!

    June 27, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Denise

    I wonder what their hero, Dick Cheney, thinks of these references. Maybe Beck should invite him on.

    June 27, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. jefnvk

    He may have said it in sarcasm, but I agree (well, not on the beast part). Polygamy and incest are far more common worldwide than gay marriage, why do we spend time prosecuting guys in Utah over having multiple wives? Why do we prosecute family members that want to get married (and don't give me the birth defects thing, we've established with gay rights that procreation can't be considered for marriage purposes, and we don't stop people with known genetic defects from marrying).

    If you are truly for marriage equality, you cannot logically support such bans, otherwise you are just as close minded as those rallying against gays

    June 27, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Liberty again

    You haters are really scared of Rand Paul, aren't you? Being responsible for your own life is a scary proposition.

    June 27, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Kris

    @Ken: We have read the article. It's the same crap that neo-con pundits and politicians have been saying for years.

    Murder is illegal, and not because the bible says so. Theft is illegal, and not because the bible says so. Etc, etc, etc.

    What gets me is how all these people scream about their freedoms, yet are so quick to want to restrict freedom from others.

    June 27, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. CJD

    As a Libertarian I can definitely say that Rand Paul is not nor will he ever be my candidate. This comment proves that he knows nothing about what Libertarians stand for. Rand is a Republican and a Southern Baptist style one at that who believes in a male dominated society that controls women's reproductive rights and keeps progress and change from happening and big business in charge. He'll be laughed out of most cities in the US.

    June 27, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Jez

    Republicans must wear chocolate shoes – they always have their feet in their mouths.

    June 27, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. jake1969

    To Paul and all those who keep saying "well, if gay marriage, what's next, bestiality, child marriage, etc..." there is a key difference - with bestiality and underage marriage, and even in many cases of polygamy, there is victimization occurring. NOT the case with gay marriage. Gay marriage is 2 people who love each other agreeing to a commitment. It isn't abusing or exploiting animals or children who can't make their own full decisions. Huge difference. Tiresome, old criticism by bigots grasping for straws. I think these rulings strengthen and expand marriage. We do in fact need more people making such deep commitments to their families and partners and this fosters it.

    June 27, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. AstuteFL

    I guess bestiality is popular in Kentucky. Now we know who his voters are.

    June 27, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Scott

    Higher wages increase poverty since jobs are lost. Duh.

    June 27, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Eli Cabelly

    Actually, sarcasm translates very well through radio. Sarcasm is usually carried by vocal inflection and tone, both of which are kept through radio.

    June 27, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. GOP = Greed Over People

    If you can get a ewe to say "I do", then my hat is off to you!

    June 27, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. essmeier

    Marriage between a man and a woman hasn't led to demands for polygamy or legal bestiality; why would anyone think that same-sex marriage will logically lead to that?

    June 27, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. sgurdog

    He's such a closed minded fool.

    June 27, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Chery

    Who cares what this guy says anyway. He's a one term Senator.

    June 27, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Gary D.

    Frankly, why should the government be in the marriage-regulation business at all?
    It's not for religious purposes.....it's solely for tax collection purposes, and to prove the existence of a relationship.

    June 27, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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