Rand Paul: Two DOMA-Related News Stories

The ABC News story: “Rand Paul: On Gay Marriage GOP Needs to ‘Agree to Disagree’”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told ABC News he believes the Supreme Court ruling on  the Defense of Marriage Act  was appropriate,  and that the issue should be left to the states. He praised Justice Anthony Kennedy for avoiding “a cultural war.”

“As a country we can agree to disagree,” Paul said today, stopping for a moment to talk as he walked through the Capitol. “As a Republican Party, that’s kind of where we are as well. The party is going to have to agree to disagree on some of these issues.”

The comments from Paul, a likely GOP presidential candidate in 2016, highlight how the party’s field could divide over  gay marriage. Many Republicans have been unusually muted in their reactions to the Supreme Court rulings today.

Paul said he agreed with Kennedy, whom he called “someone who doesn’t just want to be in front of opinion but wants government to keep up with opinion.” He said Kennedy “tried to strike a balance.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal story: “Rand Paul suggests gay-marriage ruling a step closer to legalizing human-animal unions”

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul suggested Wednesday that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act moves the country toward accepting marriages between people and animals.

Paul’s spokeswoman, however, said the senator was being sarcastic.

The comment came after radio talk show host Glenn Beck raised questions about whether the law could prohibit polygamous marriages following the ruling that requires the federal government to treat legally married gay couples the same as heterosexual couples.

“Who are you to say, if I’m a devout Muslim and I come over here and have three wives … that I can’t have multiple marriages?” Beck asked Paul.

Paul responded: “I think it’s a conundrum. If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further, does it have to be humans, you know?

Bagley said in a statement that Paul’s words were misunderstood.

“Sarcasm sometimes doesn’t translate adequately from radio conversation. Senator Paul did not suggest that striking down DOMA could lead to unusual marriage arrangements,” she said. “What he was discussing was that having no state involvement in marriage could lead to marriages with no basis in reality.”

Chris Hartman, a spokesman for the Fairness Campaign, said Paul’s statement “proves his capacity for bigotry.”

Hartman said Paul is “is talking about a radical redefinition of two people in love” and that he does so out of “bigotry, ignorance and potentially hate.” He said the “right wing is losing its grip” and that Paul’s words remind him of the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote, “desperately clawing at a cliff that is not there.”

“If Senator Paul wants to marry his dog, he can work to create the groundswell of support to do something like that, but that is not what this is about,” Hartman said.