Rand Paul bestiality comment 'sarcasm,' office says
June 27th, 2013
10:24 AM ET
10 years 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. Dylan

    Since the beginning of human history, we have slowly seen our approach to social codes become increasingly humanistic. Up until the 1800s, White Americans owned slaves. Up until the 1900s, women couldn't vote. Up until the 1960s, whites and blacks could not go to the same school. Up until the 2000s, same-sex couples could not marry legally. As we begin to see that our institutions and their ideologies are outdated and no longer serve the common good of man, we will continue to see our social policies move in this humansitic direction, as humanity as a whole realizes that we are all one, all equal parts of the same world that depend on each other for survival and prosperity. This change is GOOD! And who is Rand Paul to say what marriage is and is not? Because he gets his beliefs from religion? Why are they right? Why am I not right when I say that a man can marry a tree? We live in a free society, and should therefore be free to do what we please as long as it does not harm another human being. So what if a Muslim wants to have three marriages? More power to him. Although then he'll have to deal with three mothers in law.

    June 27, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Morons

    Rand Paul is a moron.

    June 27, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. dwight

    Marriage is marriage, right. Same sex, which used to be illegal, is now not illegal. The argument that bigamy is illegal and incest is illegal doesn't make sense if you can redefine what make it legal or illegal by social pressure. There is no reason why marriage cannot be redefined to include more than just two, after all if you are a bi-sexual, then shouldn't you have access to marry both sexes at the same time.
    For some reason the homosexuals want to "say marriage is between two consenting adults", when it used to be "two consenting adults of the opposite gender". They want to redefine it and then say where the redefining should stop, which discriminates against all other wishing to get married. Hypocrites!

    June 27, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Sivick

    GOP logic. nuff said.

    June 27, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. rockysfan

    Could it be that Paul would rather be with a beast than a human? Just asking, he brought it up.

    June 27, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. tony

    Poverty prevents more marriages than almost anything. And The repubs generate more poverty as deliberate policy.

    June 27, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Denise

    I hope The Donald doesn't enter into the fray. Judging from his hair also, I wonder what part of the animal kingdom created that?

    June 27, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. gopfails

    Of course Beck would ask about polygamy being legal. Guess he wants to take his Mormon faith back to its roots.

    June 27, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Denise

    Through sickness or health, through heat or hibernation.....

    June 27, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Tim

    Rand's latest insipid comment is just the latest example of why the majority of Americans think he's a joke and nothing more than a cartoon character – perhaps Foghorn Leghorn?

    June 27, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Bob

    Breaking News: Rand Paul's office rewrites the definition of sarchasm.

    June 27, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Denise

    You may kiss the beast! Who gives this woman away? BAAAAAAAAAA

    June 27, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Edwin

    I don't like the guy, but this is not something he should have to apologize for. He was speculating, wondering if gay marriage could ultimately lead to bestial marriages.

    He *should* wonder about this. It is important - vital, even - that we consider the repercussions of social change. The "slippery slope" argument is one that NEEDS to be talked about, thought about, and answered. The answer is no - there are fundamental reasons why changing marriage to allow same sex marriages is absolutely different from allowing humans to marry non-humans. But until this is openly discussed, it can never be answered and put to rest.

    Note that Rand did not use charged language. He wasn't trying to enrage conservatives. He was merely openly thinking about social change and where policy could lead.

    June 27, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Cnl. Angus

    'Rant' Paul ranting again because the Law of the Land doesn't suit his/GotP convoluted way of thinking.

    June 27, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. coyoteliberty

    The point here is that government should NOT be in the marriage game at all. NONE of their business, not to license it, not to gift it with deductions or to slap it with penalties.

    There's absolutely no reason not to legalize polygamy. Prohibitions are based on religious bigotry in every case where a law is on the books (check the history) and, after all, #loveislove.

    June 27, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Freddo

    Ron Paul ... bestiality ... who knew?

    June 27, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Tom

    At this point, nothing this wacko says surprises me.

    June 27, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Fred Evil

    "who are you to say if I am an American citizen that I can't have multiple marriages?"
    Who indeed?
    TRUE freedom means letting others do things you don't approve of. You cannot combine freedom and asserting your morals over others. Tough lesson for the GoP.

    June 27, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Li b.

    Rand Paul...I mean that's all I can say about this creep.Who in the world supports this idiot?

    June 27, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Lenny Pincus

    I've always thought Rand Paul is a snark. Here, he admits it.

    June 27, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Paul

    What's the problem with polygamy, provided that everyone involved is of legal age, is not being coerced, is of sound mind, and all the other things that apply to any other marriage? Why should anyone care if the woman next door has two husbands? Or five, for that matter?

    June 27, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. shrubsrock

    "That remark, his office said, wasn't meant to be taken seriously." <–That remark and every other. Thanks for the honesty!

    June 27, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. toodark

    It's always the straights that come up with this stuff.

    "And they think we're weird." Ellen Degeneres

    June 27, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Brad

    Truth be told, he was right. People do try to take it one step further, and not by actually passing legislation about marrying your pet; but in terms of the discourse going there.

    June 27, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. bufkus

    i always find it funny that conservatives keep bringing up polygamy as a counterpoint to SSM. polygamy, much like SSM, is only illegal because of religious bigotry, so I have no doubt in my mind that within the next 50-100 years, some form of polygamy will probably become legal, or at least bigamy will no longer be a crime, as the country shifts more towards a civil libertarian/social liberal attitude than one dominated by the dark age of religion.

    June 27, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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