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. Thinkergal

    Gays and lesbians have a right to marry–period. O'Reilly is correct; these are Americans and deserve all of the benefits that society and the government bestow upon a married couple. PS: it really pains me to say that B.O. is right about anything!

    March 29, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. givemea break

    "pathetic'....if you say marriage is covenant between one man and one woman under God, does that include 'civil' marriages performed at court houses ? Or, are those marriages not recognized ?

    March 29, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  3. ST

    Right! republicans are in trouble because they are engaging themselves in things which are non of their business. If they are religious, well and good we let them stick to their beliefs and not a single gay dare to interfere in that. Why should they think interference should be like only one way traffic?

    March 29, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. Thinkergal

    BTW , "pathetic," the Old Testament is rife with examples of "one man, many wives." Abraham, the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, had at least two wives. King David lost count of his wives. on and on and on....

    March 29, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  5. Fair is Fair


    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.
    I've never seen it stated better. Kudos for your well articulated post.

    March 29, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  6. Janet

    In reply to Mike who spoke his beliefs on marriage as a Catholic. I repect his faith. I was also a fervent Catholic and was married over 10 years. My husband left me and our son in order to have an affair with a co-worker. years later, the Catholic church was happy to declare our marraige void so he could marry his mistress because he paid the high fee for an annulment. I was not given the chance to appeal, as I did not have the appeal fee that the church demanded.
    If gays want to marry – it's their business and i'm sure they have God's blessing

    March 29, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  7. Fair is Fair


    BTW , "pathetic," the Old Testament is rife with examples of "one man, many wives." Abraham, the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, had at least two wives. King David lost count of his wives. on and on and on....
    I cannot speak for Judaism or Islam, but as a Christian we believe that Jesus died for our sins and to free us from the Old Testament Laws and Covenant. There are New Testament passages which refer to homosexuality (Romans and Jude).

    March 29, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. fernace

    What is Limbaugh saying? He's talking in circles! It sounds like he's saying Republicans meant to promote marriage for all, but Democrats misconstrued the message because of the "language"!? "Marriage is not a tradition...concocted to be mean to other people with." Huh? No, Rush, your party does seek to deny gay people their const.itutional right to marry, want to make laws to block it & that has been the message all along! He's right about 1 thing; no matter what SCOTUS does it's inevitable that people should have their equal & human rights!!

    March 29, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. givemea break

    Fair is Fair: Didn't Jesus say he didn't come to abolish the laws but to fulfill the prophecies ?

    March 29, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Bruce Rubin

    This man is not a conservative he is an actor!!!!

    March 29, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Jim

    I agree with Rush and Bill that if the only argument against gay marriage lies in a religious text then conservatives lost long ago.

    March 29, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Pete

    Limbaugh just doesn't get it does he..He was publicly trashed by Ms.Fluke for making slanderous remarks and his so called apology feel flat because people listening believed as I he really didn't mean it ...It's time for this fat,drug using snake oil saleman to hang it up because if republican posters here fail to realize he's doing democrates a huge favor running his big obnoxious mouth that's putting the nails in all your reps coffins..Remember with friends like Limbaugh republicans who needs enemies!!

    March 29, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. MO

    creating a law opposing gay marriage because it doesn't sit well with your opinions about relationships is the same as creating a law opposing eating meat because you're a vegetarian and the idea of eating meat does not appeal to your lifestyle. It's RIDICULOUS. This is a situation in which the federal government must ensure that all Americans are granted the same rights. If not, we're going backwards. Religion needs to stay out of politics!

    March 29, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. pathetic

    My point is that regardless of the term used marriage, union, partnership – where or how it is performed – or the rights given with it..... in the context of legality, do not affect me personally. I hold marriage to be by the definition of my faith. No man made law will change that. I will teach my children of our faith in this matter but also our faith teaches love and respect for all people based on their own Merit. More importantly, if asked about our beliefs we should always answer truthfully, without threat of recrimination. Political game play has always been and always will be. However, discrimination or backlash should not be levied against me personally for my beliefs just as I believe I have no place determining the thoughts and beliefs of others.

    March 29, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. John

    If Republicans were smart they would pass a bill allowing Civil Unions for Gay couples with full rights of married couples and all this would be a non-issue.

    March 29, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Peace

    Rush Limbaugh should tell his people that freedom is not only possessing guns of different calibres, but also to choose a person you are comfortable to be/live with.

    March 29, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. John Richard

    Bob Dylan states in one of his best known verses "You don't need a Weatherman to see which way the wind blows". I'm not surprised that these two jack-boots are doing double back flips on this issue. If the ever shrinking GOP wants to remain viable, they better take a good, hard, and long look at the electorate AND where they stand on this and many other issues. They lost the gays. They lost the Latinos. They lost the women.They lost the youth. They don't have a prayer with the next generation of young voters who don't have a clue why these grumpy old white rich people who are more in touch with 17th century thinking should lead us forward in this 21st century world. Let's face it, Rush and his ilk are "Flat Earth" minded people who haven't had an original idea their entire lives.

    March 29, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  18. Gonzoinhouston

    This is symptomatic of the decline of the influence of the churches in the Republican Party. In the aftermath of the last couple of elections the GOP is reorganizing its coalition, just as the demmies did in 1989. They're backing off on the opposition to immigration reform and gay marriage, but still hanging on to the Ryan budget. Eventually they will back off on deficits and spending and cling to opposing taxes for the rich and gun control. The new Republican coalition is rich people and corporations, with the NRA as a junior partner.

    March 29, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  19. vic , nashville ,tn

    Time after time Conservatives adopted few policies to attract old whites in the name of religion. Now old whites are minority voting group. We are seeing GOP down fall

    March 29, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. Bruce

    There's a simple way out for the Court. They can just overturn the 1100 plus Federal laws that discriminate against single people in favor of married people. This dodges the entire biblical and moral questions and does in fact get closer to treating everyone the same under the law.

    March 29, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  21. jodipo36

    Only gonna say this once. Marriage is not a biblical invention. You "Christians" stating it is are flat out ignorant. Marriage existed long before Christianity did.

    March 29, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. bonkin

    So how many hetrosexual marriages has Rush had? 4 at my last count, but whose counting.....So he is our example?

    March 29, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. Mike

    Marriage is no longer a religious covenant between a man and a woman. It is now a legal binding contract between two parties. The moment it was possible for two people to walk into a court room, pay a fee and get married by a judge it was no longer religious. It became something completly different, and as such should have been made availiable to everyone, esspecially in a country that advertises Freedom and Equality to everyone. And in all honesty, if people don't have a problem with pet owners having their dogs and cats legally married, why would you deny that option to two humans that truely love each other?

    March 29, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Conservatives are evil

    That about sums it up.

    March 29, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Moonraker

    Limbaugh has been married 4 times and should probably not be commenting on the sanctity of marriage. I don't believe in faith or any of that religious nonsense. People should marry who they want to marry. The more republicans, who are on the wrong side of EVERY social issue, complain about gay marriage the more they appear out of touch with reality.

    March 29, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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