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

    Says the guy who has been married 4 times and has yet to produce a child. Dead Do You Part anybody? Serial marriage is OK, gay marriage isn't? Rush is an example of why conservative lost the issue – they don't follow the rules themselves but are very quick to apply them to others.

    March 29, 2013 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  2. bocious

    Yeah, it was totally messaging. It couldn't be that conservatives lost because the idea itself was flawed.

    March 29, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  3. robertfallin

    Judge Andrew Napolitano made the most convincing argument on this, "Why should the government have the power to say WHO you can marry." The evil income tax corrupted it further, by its unfair exemptions. Finally, wage and price controls in the 1940s finished it, by forcing companies to add health insurance, eventually driving the price of health care out of the range of the average person. Social conservatives that support any kind of income tax or government mandated wage or price controls have no one to blame but themselves. If you removed most of governments powers to favor one group over another, you would eliminate most of the problems we have today, ESPECIALLY if you returned this nation to "common law" and barred lawyers from holding public office.

    March 29, 2013 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  4. Squincher

    Rush Limbaugh is probably one of the last people on Earth to lecture about marriage. He's had what, 4 failed marriages??

    March 29, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  5. truebob

    Rush has an excuse O'Reilly has another one. The reason is obviously they were wrong and you aren't going to win a legal argument with religious hocus pocus. Funny to watch the pundits backpedal.

    March 29, 2013 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  6. Marie MD

    Geez, what a scary photo to look at first thing in the morning.
    There must have been a big meeting of the rethugs, including their talking puppet heads, that they need to PRETEND they are for gay marriage, women's rights, immigration rights and anything and everything they have been against for decades.
    We still don't believe you care one darn about anyone "not you".

    March 29, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    Sin to see him in the morning.

    March 29, 2013 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  8. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    Really don't care what Rush, Bill O'reilly or any politicians say. Marriage is between a man and a woman period. This is my right as a Catholic to believe in God's law. If these left wing nuts want to destroy the sanctity of marriage that's their prerogative. When judged though God will separate the goats from the sheep. It's a shame that family values are being persecuted today. Maybe that is why the World is in chaos?

    March 29, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. mattski

    I wouldn't care what a 4-year-old thought about the marriage debate, and I certainly don't care what this one thinks about it either.

    March 29, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  10. Dave

    Uh, Rush, conservatives lost the marriage debate because they are flat-out wrong on the issue. Get it right.

    March 29, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  11. jack

    Limbaugh and O'Reilly – two idiots. That's what the republican party is.

    March 29, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  12. What

    Why does someone have to lose?

    March 29, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  13. Steve

    From Wikipedia:
    Spouse(s) Roxy Maxine McNeely (1977–1980, div.)
    Michelle Sixta (1983–1990, div.)
    Marta Fitzgerald (1994–2004, div.)
    Kathryn Rogers (2010–pres)
    The hypocrisy of the "save traditional marriage position" is what doomed it

    March 29, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  14. Carl Grant

    Who cares what blow-hard Limbaugh thinks about anything anyway!

    March 29, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  15. Bob

    "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."

    Rush is very wrong here. I don't know anybody on the side of gay marriage who thinks that marriage was "concocted to be mean". It was simply concocted in a very different time, with very different feelings. The only people who are being mean are those who steadfastly refuse to budge when social evolution is rapidly overtaking them.

    March 29, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  16. JerseyGeorge

    Rush's take on traditional marriage is 4 wives and counting.

    March 29, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  17. J.W

    Interesting how someone who has been divorced 3 times believes he knows what the traditional and correct version of what marriage is. He has changed the definition too, to fit his life.

    March 29, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  18. marsally

    Rush on marriage – and conservatives listening to Rush on marriage – what's wrong with this picture?

    March 29, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  19. Durundal

    Remind me again why we give uneducated populists the privilege of ranting on a media platform that allows them to preach to millions? Keep the village id10ts in the village

    March 29, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  20. Tim

    Limbaugh says "they lost the language?" Hey Rush baby, you've lost a lot more than "the language!" LOL This is 2013 Rush baby. Stop living in THE PAST and get a clue?

    March 29, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  21. Mark in Atlanta

    The didn't lose on this because they lost the language. They lost because they are a bunch of bigots.

    March 29, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  22. db

    Marriage was concocted to make the woman the chatle, property, of the man. All you have to do is look at how men treat their wives in different cultures around the world to see that men see their wife as nothing more than a piece of property for them to do whatever they want.

    March 29, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. givemea break

    This is difficult to say, but, I agree with Rush's statement, up until the last sentence. His arguments are usually incomprehensible from the beginning and not worth reading a whole line of his tripe. He and some of his other commentators are one reason the Republican party are in such trouble. People actually believe everything he says to be factual.

    March 29, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. pathetic

    This issue, like the majority facing our nation, is political game playing. The fact is "marriage" is biblical as a covenant between one man and one woman, under God. The fact that the federal government brought this term into issues of law is immaterial to its origin and intent. The government has chosen to bring the biblical union of marriage into play both now and in the past. Call gay marriage whatever you like. However, it will never be marriage in the eyes of God. Give federal rights or not. It doesn't change the fact that legalizing gay marriage changes nothing in terms of its true and spiritual meaning. Man cannot change this. However, in terms of equality, do not ever deem it inappropriate for me to have my own beliefs. I will never support gay marriage in terms of its violation of my faith. I will never teach my children to embrace gay marriage and accept it has ok. I will also teach my children to love thy Neighbor accepting that all people are born of the flesh and into sin. I will teach my children to respect people on their own merit. I will teach my children not to PUSH our beliefs on others just as I am offended when others attempt to push their beliefs on me. A difference of thought, beliefs, and morals is a right in the USA, and if I or my family is asked about our beliefs we should be able to answer without fear of recrimination, the same for anyone. I believe that the borrowed term of marriage in the context of legality is immaterial and has no affect on me or my belief of its true meaning and intention as it was created.

    March 29, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  25. OvernOut

    I've heard that Islam allows a man to have four wives. Is there something Rush isn't telling us?

    March 29, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
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