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. Fair is Fair


    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.
    No one ever said Christianity invented marriage... Christianity had been around for only 2000 years. The Old Testament refers to marraige and was written thousands of years before Christianity.

    March 29, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. nothing new here

    Barry Goldwater must be rolling in his grave by now.
    The same guy that tried to warn the GOP not to give in to preachers, and all other loudmouths that were beating the 'legislate morality' drum.
    The GOP should have never gone that route, but what's done is done. The party can either rebuild it's brand, for the better of all people, or it can just go the way of the Whigs...and good riddance.

    March 29, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Tom

    And Chief Justice Roberts says Obama didn't take a strong enough stand on the issue. That's like saying Al Gore is responsible for "global warming."

    March 29, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. rchmd2012

    What a hypocrite. Why this man is allowed to be on air poisoning the minds of those foolish enough t listen to him is beyond me. What's wrong with America? This man and the closed minded self-righteous people who support him.

    March 29, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Observer

    No special rights for the gays. Period.

    March 29, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. MarriedOnce

    Marriage is between one man and one woman. Till death do us apart! Yeah right! Marriage lasting 2 months, 6 months, 11 months...and then another marriage. That will last 2 weeks before 'irreconcilable differences' appears. And then another marriage! This is what God wanted? One man and many woman, just not at the same time? One woman and many man, just not at the same time? LOL!

    March 29, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Amused

    This is all well and good. We say we are denying peoples rights. Are we really? I know of no place in the US where gay marriage is illegal, meaning if two gays marry they are punished by law. If two gays want to marry they can. There is no jail time, no fine, no penalty. However, if a man marries two women, he is guilty of bigamy...a crime. He can be prosecuted. So how can you say you are for marriage equality, but your platform does not include legalizing multiple spouses? Since polygamy is not being considered, this argument is not about "rights". You continue to "discriminate" against polygamists. And what of other marriages that are practiced in the world? What about multiple marriages? Shouldn't 4 males and 5 females be permitted to marry and receive all the "goodies" the government hands out? In some parts of the world, children are married. Will you continue to deny the rights of children to marry? I hate to use the slippery slope argument, but progressives use incrementalism as strategy. I predict that within 50 years, NAMBLA will be suing for the right to marry their victims, and animal "lovers" will be suing to marry their pets. Sound ridiculous? Well 50 years ago, two men marrying sounded just as ridiculous.

    March 29, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. The Realist

    Why value the opinion of a guy who has Failed, on several occasions, to stay married?

    March 29, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Transporter

    What boggles my mind is that anyone would really care what Rush Limbaugh has to say about anything. Who is this guy anyway? Best I can tell he's a college dropout, Vietnam war dodger, should-have-been convicted felon drug addict, whose been married four times but has never had any kids so he has no idea about the everyday challenges of raising a family, and he's never served in the military, or in public office, in any capacity, ever. So what exactly qualifies, or credentials, him to speak authoritatively about anything? So, when you sum it all up, he's a radio disc jockey, which is all he's ever been, and he's laughing all the way to the bank thanks to his gullible "followers". He's the pied piper for those too ignorant or incapable of comprehending the substance of an issue and forming their own opinions.

    March 29, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. And so it goes

    Mike – marriage has been around longer than the religious ceremony we now equate with it. Religion moved in on it to own it and exert power over people's lives. As such, religion doesn't own the ceremony. I'm not against it having a special version, but this recurring talk I've seen that religion has had something stolen from it is a little misinformed.

    March 29, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Gabriel Massengale

    Exactly Observer, "no special rights for the gays. Period.." And that is why we need marriage equality. This is AMERICA where every citizen has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our Constitution does not assign civil rights based on sexual orientation. The fight against marriage equality was lost when it began because opposing the right of two consenting adults to formally and publicly declare their love for one another and enjoy the financial benefits thereof is fundamentally wrong.

    March 29, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. JeramieH

    Funny how the "party for less government" loves telling us how we can live our lives.

    March 29, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair


    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.
    No one ever said Christianity invented marriage... Christianity had been around for only 2000 years. The Old Testament refers to marraige and was written thousands of years before Christianity.
    What about prior to that? Are you assuming that the Hebrews invented it? A few references to marriage is not indicative of its origin.

    March 29, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Bill Cameron

    Once again the republican conservative machine (RCM) has missed the point. It is about rights. Not a word. The RCM chose to block individuals rights to a "Union" which far outweighs the use of the word Marriage. They will argue vehemently for rights they want like gun ownership and vehemently against rights they don't like such as the ability of tow people to form a "Union" and have rights within that union. You reached too far and triedt to deny people their rights, and you lost on both fronts. Boo Hoo! Grow Up!

    March 29, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. goblackhawks

    If this is all about love .. then let's get rid of the tax benefits of marriage and let's see if this is still about love. I have no problem with equal rights ... but don't call it marriage .. Marriage is a religious sacrament between 1 man and 1 woman PERIOD. If gay people want civil unions 100% behind that

    March 29, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. And so it goes

    Fair is Fair – there ARE people who talk like Christianity invented marriage. All this stuff about gay marriage going against the Bible and therefore it's wrong... if you don't follow the Bible you're going against God....

    And that's not getting into the fact that these same people reject other parts of the Bible. They see no problem with picking which parts they live by, but condemn others for not living by the parts they DO choose to follow.

    March 29, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. ED FL

    You media folks that waste yor time on the likes of someone like Limbaugh on such stupid matters need to find a real job . PS I can respond because i am what you call and OLD OLD Man with lots of time on his hands,and retired twice.

    March 29, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Thank God!

    Thank god we have people like Rush to keep reminding us of what idiots most liberals are.

    March 29, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Joe

    Since government had decided to be involved in all facets of our lives, then, the same government has to carry everybody along irrespective of individual belief or whatever. Government should hands off from mirrage period. Do I need license to decide who to live and spend the rest of my life with? The same government that tends to protect mirrage, has turn into full time business in divorce cases.

    March 29, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. palintwit

    I love it when a conservative's head explodes. It's music to my ears.

    March 29, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. max3333444555

    what limbaugh actually said was that conservatives lost the argument when they allowed marriage to be redefined into categories (he actually said a 2 word instead of a one word like "traditional marriage" instead of just marriage).

    he is correct, IMO, on that point. I don't agree with the position against gay marriage (hell, I don't even have an issue with polygamy if its consensual) but I do think he is correct about when the argument was lost.

    March 29, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. tb63

    @ Observer
    The term "Special Rights" is nothing more than propaganda from the radical right.

    Nobody is asking for special rights, only equal rights.

    March 29, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. Clear Headed

    When the Far Right comment on what the Bible says about Homosexuality they make it sound like that is all the Bible discusses. When taken in whole, Homosexuality is mentioned very little. Indeed, wealth and arrogance are discussed far more. In terms of the NT, Jesus never mentions homosexuality.

    My concern is more about the failing of our society to allow same-sex couple from having the same rights, in terms of relationships, as those who are opposite-sex couples.

    March 29, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Peace

    Who told you so that marriage should be a religious sacrament between one man and one woman? Why shouldn't one man and one woman be also a civil union? What makes it that it can't go that way??? And if gay people get married, is signing the paper cause you pain as is that the only thing they get, leave the place and go and live their own life.

    March 29, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Todd

    How sad this all is. Is there NOTHING sacred in the United States anymore?

    March 29, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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