By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com March 13 2013 1:01 PM ET
U.S. senator Rand Paul of Kentucky isn’t for changing what he calls “the historical definition of marriage,” but he proposes making the tax code and benefits policies “more neutral” to assist same-sex couples and their families.
“I am an old-fashioned traditionalist,” Paul told a group of reporters Tuesday at the office of the conservative magazine National Review in Washington, D.C. “I believe in the historical definition of marriage. That being said, I think contracts between adults — I’m not for limiting contracts between adults. In fact, if there are ways to make the tax code more neutral where it doesn’t mention the word marriage, then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is. We just don’t have marriage in the tax code.
“If health benefits are a problem, why don’t we not define them by marriage? Why don’t we say, you have another adult who lives in the house, and a kid who lives in the house can be part of family coverage? Then you don’t have to redefine, and have people like myself, and people who live in the southeastern part of the country, we don’t have to change our definition of what we think marriage is, but we allow contracts to occur so there is more ability to [make] the law neutral.”
David Weigel of Slate magazine raised the marriage question in asking how Republicans could compete in liberal states, and he also queried Paul about his comment last year that President Obama could not “get any gayer.” Paul responded, “I’ve been told that joke wasn’t very funny.”