March 28th, 2013
06:10 PM ET
9 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. mike

    Rush says the conservatives allowed the "left" to concoct marriage as a tradition "to be mean to other people with." Really? The left did that? Somehow I see Rush and the conservative right equating marriage as something to be mean to other people when they started to define heterosexual marriage as"traditional marriage" and "traditional family values" and when they started to protest against gay marriage.

    March 29, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Joe Rockbottom

    Rush Limbaugh is still around? Who knew!

    March 29, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. JAB

    Discrimination based on anything, and especially a book of make believe, should be illegal.

    March 29, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. oddjob3422

    You know, conservatives didn't lose the DEBATE. They lost their WAY. They never should have taken the positions they did, because they are not consistent with values that place individual sovereignty and liberty above having government tell people what to do.

    March 29, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. serna

    The case against same-sex marriage may be weak in the Bible, but not so from the Quran, the only proven scripture with a built in mathematical super human code that cannot be duplicated by humans or computers.
    [17:88] Say, "If all the humans and all the jinns banded together in order to produce a Quran like this, they can never produce anything like it, no matter how much assistance they lent one another."
    [7:81] "You practice sex with the men, instead of the women. Indeed, you are a transgressing people."

    March 29, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Bob Blue

    Conservatives didn't just lose the language on this, they lost the logic on this. They don't have a logical argument.

    March 29, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Sharrr

    This is not a supreme court issue – this is a God issue.
    God said that marriage is between one man and one woman.
    Anything else – disgusting.

    March 29, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. poppedey13

    Rush Limbaugh commenting on anything to do with marriage is pretty amazing.

    March 29, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. NCexile

    "Marriage" is a magic insofar as it brings with it over 1000 specific federal rights and benefits that don't apply to singles or gays or kids or goats. What rock are some of these people hiding under? If America voted to get rid of all discrimination against gays, "marriage" would, indeed, lose much of its "magic." Won't happen, of course. Extend rights of marriage to all adult, responsible couples and let's move on, for Heaven's sake!!

    March 29, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Paoulo

    Amazing that with with all of the words that flow out of that big head of his, he could not help his buddies build "the language" for his definition of marriage. Maybe, just maybe, he is not as smart as he would have you believe.

    March 29, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. jake

    The only secular and semi-sensible argument to support a ban on gay marriage is that there is a government interest in using marriage is to promote stable unions between people who can procreate, and that such unions foster stable family units. This argument shreds to smithereens when we recognize that society would not accept banning marriage for couples who have fertility issues, or who are too old to procreate. Clearly, marriage has come to serve a function in society very independent of fostering reproductively viable unions. Marriage has come to honor and promote a lasting commitment between two intimately connected adults. This is the prevailing purpose of marriage today, and it has little to do with gender. Allowing marriages between gays would not erode this important role of marriage – quite the contrary, it would honor it.

    March 29, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. betterdays

    Go ahead, get married. You still can't stop me from thinking the whole notion of same-sex marriage is comical. My response is not "congratulations;" more like, "right... whatever..." So there's your equality for ya.

    March 29, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Pam from Iowa

    There is no legal basis to deny same-sex marriages. The law cannot be based on the Bible as that would be religious discrimination as that would be basing a law on one religion.
    Not to mention anyone who has ever been divorced is a hypocrite if they say that same-sex marriage goes against the "sanctity of marriage". If you truly believed in the sanctity of marriage, you would still be married to your first spouse!

    March 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Keef

    @bill dunn

    "Why are they (Bible bangers) so selective?" Because that's all they've got.

    You don't remember being on the playground when you were a litle kid?

    (cue image of eight-year-old, hands over his ears, eyes shut, yelling "I'm not listening, I'm not listening to you, I can't HEAR you!" over and over again).

    Here's the thing: They're' WRONG, dead wrong, they KNOW it, but don't know how to "back down" from an untenable, loony position they've taken.

    Losing face, you see.

    Sorriest, oldest story in the world.

    March 29, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. One L

    At least some conservatives know reality when they see it

    March 29, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Brian from CO

    Limbaugh thinks they lost the debate because they "lost the language". That sounds like the same excuse they used for losing the last election. Republicans need to relize they have policy problems and not a language problems if they want to broaden their appeal to more voters.

    March 29, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Ivan Bial

    who cares what he has to say

    March 29, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. treblemaker

    Back for one last comment...I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the LGBT community for somehow convincing the mainstream American public that behavior once considered to be one of the most immoral and amoral of sins is now considered totally normal and acceptable by the majority. One more's OK by me if you wish to reject the existence of God Almighty; I'm done trying to argue my point. Just remember, God Almighty gave us the free will choice of which path to choose in our life, and to face the consequences of our choice when our time is up. If by the end of your life your choice is still to reject the Lord, that's fine by me, also...just don't be surprised if the Lord returns the favor and rejects you. Your body goes back to the dust from which it came, but your spirit belongs to HIM!

    Here's an idea. Think of your life as like the spinning wheel on the "Wheel of Fortune" game show. As long as it keeps spinning, you're alive, and you still have the free will choice to choose His way. When the wheel slows down, you know your time is near an end, and if you are having remorse over your choices, you still have the chance to reconsider, as long as you admit to the Lord from your heart that you were wrong, strip yourself of all self-pride and self-righteousness, and that you ask for His forgiveness. But there's one catch-the Lord can grab the wheel if he wishes at any time, stopping the spinning abruptly without warning, giving you no chance to reconsider any choice while the wheel spins. BTW, my idea goes for EVERYONE, not just the LGBT community. WE ALL FALL SHORT!!

    March 29, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I Corinthians 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    March 29, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Mike

    I think Rush is one of the last people that should be defending "traditional marriage".

    March 29, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. barfly

    to many holes, not enough time

    March 29, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Brian from CO

    Sharrr wrote:

    This is not a supreme court issue – this is a God issue.
    God said that marriage is between one man and one woman.
    Anything else – disgusting.

    Just because you think it is disgusting and you think "god" said it was wrong does not give you right to discriminate against gay people. If there is a god it's not you, so let the real god deal with the so called sinners and you should stick to minding your own business.

    March 29, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. POD

    This reminds me of the Stalinist Purges of the 1930s when Uncle Joe started ridding his party of the crazies and true believers like Trotsky. I can see the republicans marginalizing that whole Bachmann, Palin, Tea Party Crowd even as we speak.

    March 29, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Marie

    We didn't 'lose' anything- it just means that two people who love each other can marry now, regardless of the mix of genders involved. I see nothing wrong or 'lost' at all.

    I'm straight, a baptized Catholic and totally OK with this.

    March 29, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. DA

    I see this as part of a broad effort by Republicans to move toward the center, particularly on issues that are alienating significant portions of voters, like gay marriage and immigration reform. They practically stated this in the post-election analysis report they released a few weeks ago.

    If this turns out to be true, as a libertarian-minded moderate, I applaud the GOP for finally waking up. They will gain far more votes than they lose. I think the conservative base will realize they don't care as much about these issues anymore and will fall in line.

    March 29, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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