On Marriage Equality, Rand Paul Raises Bestiality Issue, Then Backtracks

The senator was only joking, an aide says.

BY Trudy Ring

June 27 2013 2:20 PM ET

Sen. Rand Paul made a remark yesterday about same-sex marriage paving the path for marriage between humans and nonhumans, but he quickly backtracked on it, with an aide characterizing it as “sarcasm.”

Discussing the Supreme Court’s marriage equality rulings on Glenn Beck’s radio show, after Beck raised the possibility of polygamous marriage, Paul said, “It is difficult, because if we have no laws on this, people will take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?”

Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley then told The Washington Post, “Sarcasm sometimes doesn’t translate adequately from radio conversation. “Senator Paul did not suggest that striking down [the Defense of Marriage Act] 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.”

Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, also backed off from the remark in an interview with Fox News. “Like I said, I don’t think it will be with multiple humans, and I think it will be human and human,” he told Fox’s Megyn Kelly. “And so I didn’t mean that to mean anything other than that I think the government will still probably be involved in defining marriage to a certain aspect. I don’t think we’re going on towards polygamy or things beyond that.”

Then, talking with ABC News, he praised Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the DOMA case, striking down the law’s ban on federal government recognition of same-sex marriages. Kennedy “tried to strike a balance,” Paul said, noting that the ruling will not keep states from defining marriage as they choose. “As a country we can agree to disagree,” he added.

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