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. Veeblefester

    GOP politicians always bring up marrying dogs when gay marriage is discussed. Santorum does it all the time. I think they're a little TOO preoccupied with this practice, if you know what I mean.

    June 27, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. Allie

    I'm not sure Rand Paul understands the definition of the word "sarcasm"...

    June 27, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Carlin123

    From reading these posts i'd say Sarcasm doesn't translate adequately here either.

    June 27, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. jwashed

    You all are being stupid. He's not a bigot- he was referring to something not even having to do with gay marriage. He was merely suggesting that marriage is serious and there should be some parameters. For many conservatives this is a moral issue Rand Paul was just discussing the morality of marriage. He is not anti-gay y'all need to do something other than complain.

    June 27, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. sb

    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.

    love how they poked that in at the end. He agrees with the ruling and libs still complain

    June 27, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Paul

    Let's be clear about one thing. Paul is not a libertarian. A libertarian would say DOMA was a bad law and it was none of the government business. He is a conservative. It's none of the governments business unless the government will force people to do what he believes.

    June 27, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Kudu

    People need to get a thicker skin!

    June 27, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Sam

    Lady marrys her dog! Don't agree, BIGOT!!!

    June 27, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. James Poster

    A non-story. It was obvious what he meant. But if people are willing to get in an uproar about it, "news" corporations are willing to print it.

    June 27, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Marius

    I like Paul's imagery of a moral periscope. Doesn't that reveal or hint at the level where our legislators are observing our society? Hundreds of feet underwater?

    June 27, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Larry L

    Rand is an even crazier and more hateful version of his Dad. Republicans haven't got enough sense to stop supporting politicians who offer nothing but "sound-bite solutions". Their overly-simplified solution sets satisfy the fearful or naive but do nothing to actually provide pragmatic solutions for complex problems.

    June 27, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. yogi

    GOP = Greed Over People
    If you can get a ewe to say "I do", then my hat is off to you!
    Now that is funny!

    June 27, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. PeteH

    With the definition of marriage removed, by law, who's to say what's next?

    June 27, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Jerry

    So, how long 'til I can marry my Fleshlight???

    Marriage either remains what it has ALWAYS been or it becomes completely meaningless, (not, mind you, that it carries near as much meaning in the age of the "no-fault divorce" as it used to have when dissolution of a marriage required REAL reasons). I can understand gays wanting the same right to be miserable (married) as the straight majority but I simply cannot understand anyone believing that we should be forced to throw-out 5,000 years of recorded history merely to accommodate a small minority – especially when they can have what amounts to the same thing (civil unions) without having to co-opt "marriage".

    June 27, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Larry L


    LOVE the headline CNN – doing YOUR part for the 'Liberal' cause associating the only sane voice in DC with bestiality simply because he's GOP. Not that I expect better – I know who you people are, and you're NOT journalists – just calling you out.
    If Democratic Senator Harry Reid made the comment would you call it news? I'll bet you would...

    June 27, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    To CNN: He didn't even say the word bestiality. He said "Does it have to be humans?". That could mean something like a doorknob or carpet. Clearly just a philosophical conversation. Of course, liberal-leaning CNN will spin it to make him look bad.

    June 27, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. 1389AD

    Rand is right; this WILL lead to all kinds of insane demands.

    Fact is, many people, including myself, don't see any real difference between sodomy and other practices such as bestiality, incest, and polygamy. They are all in the category of 'things you don't do.'

    June 27, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. steve

    'Does it have to be humans?"'. I assume he was talking about animals and not beer bottles.

    June 27, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. vinster76

    a US Senator is called a bigot for asking a legitimate, albeit disturbing, questioning. The folks who don't like it concern me, since it is usually man's nature when he does something, he does it all the way, and Katie-bar-the-door to those who would deem to stop it......I hope I do not live long enough to see the continued degradation of a once-great nation. However, judging from the comments here, the degradation and moral decomposition is accelerating quickly....Kudos to you Senator, at least you had the guts to say what needed to be said......To heck with the rest......just sayin....

    June 27, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |

    Beck and paul having an intelligent conversation?Impossible!

    June 27, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. Canderson

    If this were anyone but a political figure, they would be chastised and condemned. For many, the definition of marriage is 2 "consenting adults". Children, animals, and toasters are not consenting adults. If 2 people love each other and want to commit to a relationship, they should be allowed to do so. That's a conservative idea, not a liberal one. Mr. Paul constantly shows his stupidity and prejudice with every new comment.

    June 27, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Pete

    Rand and polygamy ,where does this Kentucky idiots ranting end..Isn't that an issue taken up in states not in SCOTUS or is he setting himself up for another record setting filibuster maybe talking for a couple of months maybe more..

    June 27, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. middle america man

    None of his supporters realize this, but Rand is far too weird to be elected President, so watching him run is going to be great fun.

    June 27, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. Thewidow@thiswidowswords

    Sunce Paul renounced his citizenship yesterday in order to get out of Obamacare, there is no need to waste anymore time on him. Send ICE to kick him out of the country.

    June 27, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. David

    Very few people would ever want to marry a non-human. But even if a few did, how does that hurt the rest of us?

    June 27, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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