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. labman57

    The intentional grouping of homosexuality and gay marriage with polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia … even murder … is simply further evidence that the Republican Party is still laden with sanctimonious, socially-regressive bigots who wish to impose their own religious mores onto the rest of society.

    Furthermore, using "sarcasm" to degrade an entire demographic group of Americans is hardly the behavior of someone who allegedly aspires to the presidency.

    June 27, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Spin all you want, Mr. Paul, or act lika a man and admit your twisted opinions.

    June 27, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. Emo

    Polygamy is a lifestyle choice. Being gay isn't. Nobody is born a polygamist. Apples and oranges.

    June 27, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. PassingThrough

    In many cultures on this planet, people CAN and DO marry animals.Granted, the marriage is usually symbolic in order to appease a god or some other angry spirit, but it IS acceptable.

    And, in some otherwise modern countries, one can marry dead people (look up the cases in France) for purposes of accessing "frozen assets" like sperm or even embryos. There are a few states in our own country where a domestic partnership is not limited to two people and could indeed include entire communes.

    So the argument is moot, no matter which crackpot wanted to whine about it as if it was going to hurt either one of them personally.

    June 27, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Say what?

    A bigot is a bigot is a bigot.

    June 27, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. hotpatata

    Was Paul also being sarcastic when he called having children out of wedlock "the leading cause of poverty in our country" without any sources or evidence whatsoever? I can think of other reasons, like right-to-work laws, unbridled and unregulated corporate greed, and a multi-tiered system of governmental neglect which constantly allows (even facilitates) the total deterioration of roads, schools, and medical services in poorer communities, all to ensure that the gulfs between rich and poor only get wider. I'd also speculate that a Rand Paul administration would only make things worse, until the rich lived totally isolated and privileged lives while the rest of us withered and starved without any public services save the boot of the police. But if I said those things, please don't hold me accountable for them. I'm only using sarcasm.

    June 27, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Clarence Alexander

    The problem with the media is the headlines are so misleading that people react without reading the quotes within the context of the story. Then there's the problem that the writers are less concerned with the truth of a story than making a big noise with sensationalism. If you read the comment within the context and the point about "defining" marriage, his comment was obviously sarcastic. It had NOTHING to do with SSM!

    June 27, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Kyle

    Right on Rand

    June 27, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Allan

    Mr. Paul is a child molester #sarcasm

    June 27, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Alpha Deus

    Rand Paul talks about the personal beliefs of lawmakers as though its wrong..then he wants their personal beliefs on abortion to take presidence..he wanted personal preferences on background checks to outweight the publics demands for them, he is all for personal beliefs when they argee with him but all against them when they disagree with him..a typical dicatator...thank God this Mutt isn't in power as president...We'd all be stuffed

    June 27, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. BCW

    What does Rand's father Ron think of his son? Actually, the apple did not fall from the tree. It never matured. I wonder why?

    June 27, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Rbnlegend

    For those who say "Marriage should belong to the church" I have some bad news. Churches have been conducting gay weddings for some time now, in every state in the country. Your church might not, but there are a lot of churches. If the churches decide, gay marriage would be a long established fact.

    And just to be clear, the line is drawn at consent. Marrying a child, or a goat, is bad because the child or goat can not give consent, and is harmed by the act. Marrying another adult, who consents, does not cause that harm, and is thus hard to justify prohibiting. Incest causes harm in two ways, first, the increased chance of children with dangerous recessive genetic traits, and second, incest often involves a significant age difference. Adults, with genetic counseling, could possibly marry safely. Polygamy as practiced in the US frequently involved a substantial age gap, and other coercive elements. In those situations, the laws against polygamy are helpful, however, there are people in relationships where that is not a factor, and the law isn't protecting anyone.

    We get all these odd explainations because people want to ban it, based on their church, but know that the teachings of their church only apply to members of their church. So they come up with these bizarre comaprisons to marrying animals and lawn furniture. When your real reason is something you can't admit in public, the fake juistifications are not convincing.

    June 27, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Tom

    Rand Paul is an ignoramus. And, by the way, so is Glenn Beck.

    June 27, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Jeb

    Paul is a "libertarian" except when it comes to forcing everyone else to live according to his religious beliefs.

    June 27, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. tim

    until the conversation is turned towards Sen. Paul's idiotic inferences and redefining of the basic civil rights issue here, and all the other anti-gay groups, i.e. Republican party, religious groups, and until they are strongly confronted in a debate which will expose their bigotry and hypocrisy, taking the bible OUT of the discussion, we will have be hear this crap. we don't have the KKK on the news trying to put black people back on the plantation or anti-women groups saying women should not vote or make as much money as men, so why do we have to hear these anti-gay groups voice their opinions? Why is discrimination on any level ok by anyone? The gay issue still is included in the republican platform. this is NOT okay.

    June 27, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. hotpatata

    Also, someone should politely inform Paul's communications director, Moira Bagley, about the differences between "sarcasm" and "wild hyperbole". Then they should ask whether Ms. Bagley has any sort of English, communications, or P.R. degree, and if the answer is "yes", tell her to ask for a refund.

    June 27, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Tom Legare

    That's funny because Paul looks like he could have been born to a sheep with mat=ybe a monkey for a father.. Not so funny now is it??

    June 27, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. th

    Another repub bites the dust

    June 27, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. ja

    do we really expect anything of the self righteous sob

    June 27, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Nate

    Glenn Beck who got divorced because of his drug problem...he's the one dishing out advice on stable relationships and what's best for a family?

    June 27, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. E.J.

    The government has no role in saying which consenting adult can marry which other consenting adult. It DOES have a role in protecting people from exploitation. No woman (or man) who has not been brainwashed to believe that they must be one of several wives (or husbands) would willingly consent to be one of several wives (or husbands). To force someone to be one of multiple spouses or to brainwash them to think they should be (FLDS, are you listening?) is exploitation. So, by the way, is slavery, which those "God-fearing" southerners in the ante-bellum South insisted should be a matter of "states' rights."

    June 27, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. DeerWithGuns

    If we don't legislate guns, what's to stop animals from arming themselves? If humans are going after animals with guns you cannot tell me it isn't logical to go the next step. Who are we to say that animals aren't going to arm themselves. I can never support the right to arm bears

    June 27, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Another Bigot Full of Christian Hate

    they do this ALL THE TIME.... make outlandish statements to the media .. ( because htat's really how they think ) and then when the majority of the nation calls them ( appropriately ) lunatics, then they peddle back REAL QUICK, like the duplicitous scoundrels they are ...

    June 27, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Donald

    Conservatives sure like to talk about beastiality. A LOT.

    June 27, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Debbie in Alamo Heighs

    His question was a legitimate illustration of the slippery slope argument first made by Scalia a generation agao. What's the big deal?

    June 27, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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