Sen. Rand Paul Condemned for Laughing at Obama's Religion
Sen. Rand Paul's joke last week that he didn't think President Obama's views "could get any gayer" didn't have Republicans laughing during the Sunday shows.
Party chairman Reince Priebus told NBC's David Gregory on Meet the Press that he didn't want to see others following Paul's example. Then he went on to say the party as a whole supports amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile on Face the Nation, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins was more direct.
"We are talking about individuals who feel very strongly one way or the other, and I think we should be civil, respectful, allowing all sides to have the debate," Perkins said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I think this is not something to laugh about. It's not something to poke fun at other people about. This is a very serious issue."
Perkins wasn't suddenly diverging from his antigay views. He appeared on multiple shows Sunday, and Media Matters reports that he got a fairly easy ride despite representing a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a "hate group."
Perkins and Priebus were asked to respond to video of Paul that spread online. The Kentucky Republican had joked about the president's support for marriage equality before a gathering of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, a conservative group.
“Call me cynical," Paul said, "but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.”
It was part of a much larger critique of Obama that included a swipe at Obama's Christianity.
"It did kind of bother me though that he used the justification for it in a biblical reference. He said the biblical golden rule caused him to be for gay marriage. And I'm like, what version of the Bible is he reading?" Paul said to even more laughs.
President Obama did tell ABC's Robin Roberts that he treats others as he would want to be treated because he's a Christian, and he said that contributed to his support for marriage equality. Paul said, "I don't know what version he's getting that from."
Paul, son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, stood at a podium with a cross on the front, and he advocated calling gay people sinful.
"Now, that doesn't mean we have to be harsh and mean and angry. But we understand sin and we believe it's a sin," he said. "We're not out there preaching some sort of hateful dogma against people, but that doesn't mean that we have to go ahead and give up our traditions. We've got 6,000 years of tradition."
Watch video of Paul's statements below.