Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R) on Wednesday worried the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act could lead to the legalization of human-animal marriages.
“I think this is the conundrum and gets back to what you were saying in the opening — whether or not churches should decide this,” Paul said on Glenn Beck’s radio show Wednesday morning. “But it is difficult because if we have no laws on this people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans? You know, I mean. So there really are — the question is what social mores, can some social mores be part of legislation?”
“Historically, we did at the state legislative level, we did allow for some social mores to be part of it,” the Kentucky Republican continued. “Some of them were said to be for health reasons and otherwise, but I’m kind of with you, I see the thousands-of-year tradition of the nucleus of the family unit. I also see that economically, if you just look without any kind of moral periscope and you say, what is it that is the leading cause of poverty in our country? It’s having kids without marriage. The stability of the marriage unit is enormous and we should not just say oh we’re punting on it, marriage can be anything.”
Paul had previously said he opposed DOMA, a federal law that prohibited same-sex couples from receiving federal marriage rights and protections. However, he only opposed the law because it potentially gave the Supreme Court an opening to legalize same-sex marriages nationwide.
The Supreme Court struck down DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 on Wednesday, but left other state’s bans on same-sex marriage intact.
A spokeswoman for Paul later denied he had suggested the defeat of DOMA would lead to marriage with animals.
“Sarcasm sometimes doesn’t translate adequately from radio conversation,” Paul’s communication 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.”
Listen to audio, via Mediaite, below:
[Note: Updated with spokeswoman's comments]