March 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Rand Paul says same-sex marriage ‘offends’ him

Rand Paul, American Conservative Union, CPAC, Conservative Political Action Conference, Republican Party, libertarian, Kentucky, United States Senate, U.S. Congress, gay news, Washington Blade

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (Washington Blade photo by Lee Whitman)

Potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said on Friday affording the distinction to marriage to same-sex couples “offends myself and a lot of other people.”

In an interview with Bret Baier of Fox News, the Kentucky Republican, who described himself as a “libertarian conservative,” made the remarks when asked about his views on gay rights.

“I’m for traditional marriage,” Paul said. “I think marriage is between a man and a woman. Ultimately, we could have fixed this a long time ago if we just allowed contracts between adults. We didn’t have to call it marriage, which offends myself and a lot of people.”

Paul continued, “I think having competing contracts that would give them equivalency before the law would have solved a lot of these problems, and it may be where we’re still headed.”

For Paul’s vision of equal rights for same-sex couples through contracts to become a reality, the first step would be have to be a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in June upholding state prohibitions on gay nuptials.

The potential 2016 contender, who’s won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference the last three times, is reportedly prepared to announce his candidacy for the White House next month.

Ian Sams, spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, said Paul’s remarks demonstrate the potential candidate’s true colors as far-right conservative.

“By saying he’s willing to broaden the GOP’s tent and reach out to new constituencies, Rand Paul is trying to pull the wool over our eyes,” Sams said. “Saying marriage equality ‘offends’ him gives us yet another glimpse of Paul’s true colors — a restrictive, retro social agenda that sets back LGBT rights and questions longstanding gains in civil rights. Support for marriage equality is at record highs, and most Americans now live in states where it’s legal. What’s truly offensive is Rand Paul’s insistence on being stuck in the past and failing to support equal rights for LGBT Americans.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • oldoddjobs

    Far-right, shriek! Ewwww

  • Jedi Senshi

    Rand Paul offends me & a lot of other people to. Also if same sex marriage offends Randy, he doesn’t have to one.

  • Tom Kidd

    Dear Rand Paul: Your child molesting buddy Josh Duggar offends me.

  • scalscott

    Time to beat the drums and find a scapegoat that he can ride so that the ultra conservative’s will be motivated to vote for him.

  • Joe Lee Henderson

    good to know this guy’s a “libertarian”

  • Ivyteainn

    Corrupt politicians offend me. Yet, I’m stuck with a Capitol building filled with them.

  • Dave Koch

    Yeah, well the politics of your phony social issues outrage for the purpose of raising money offends me. Ya pig.

  • danielistical

    Senator Paul,,,what Duggar did is a CRIME in all 50 states,,, what gay people do is still a crime in about 12 states , and shrinking,,,,and as far as your silly sky god fella,,,HE DONT COUNT
    FOR NOTHING,,,,,,,,Gay people have been around longer
    than your superstitious religion has and will still be here long after it has
    fallen along the wayside with all the other silly religions,,,Dont worry you offend your fair share of people too

  • danielistical

    Senator Paul,,,what Duggar did is a CRIME in all 50 states,,, what gay people do is still a crime
    in about 12 states ,,,and as far as your silly sky god fella,,,HE DONT COUNT

    • 02Dave12345

      Lawrence v Texas made sodomy laws targeting gay people unconstitutional. The laws may still exist in 12 states but those states are powerless to enforce them. The only exception I’m aware of is Louisiana which has been using a loophole in the ruling to prosecute minors for gay sex. Targeting underage prostitutes trying to survive. The Lawrence v Texas ruling only applies to adults, 18 and over.

  • Mr Paul, please don’t come to New Zealand. Our law will offend you and we can’t have poor little conservatives being offended now can we. Obviously our marriage law will have a disastrous affect on your heterosexual status, you might even become gay, or lesbian even! Please do stay right where you are, so you can be protected by your paranoia!

  • Know matter what your thoughts are, OR what you have to say about “Same Sex Marriage”, the bottom line is what GOD has to say about it. When HE, [Christ Jesus] returns, HE will NOT allow them to spend Eternal Life with him, period!

    • Libbyterrian

      Actually, Ken, the bottom line is that in the USA there is a separation between church and state. Also, I think the saying you meant to type was “no matter what”.

      • Your right. I’m not all that good in picking the right word use. I will correct that. Thank you!

        • Fred E Tanquary Jr.

          You’re wrong, really, you’re wrong.

          • No, God did not “whisper that little titbit” in my ear. He told us from HIS unchanging word, the Bible. May God bless you and your family, and may HE enlighten your heart to the truth.

          • Bob Parker

            “He told us from HIS unchanging word, the Bible”

            You mean you read that book in the original, untranslated scrolls in the original, untranslated Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic? Wow, that’s impressive!!! I don’t know many linguistic scholars that can do that today!

            What, you say? You DIDN’T read the originals? You read the (insert version here) TRANSLATED, ENGLISH version of the Bible?

            Sorry to disappoint you, that is not an “unchanging” anything. Every time that book was modified, edited, adjusted, books inserted & taken out, translated, updated and “modernized” the content was changed to suit the needs of the person or persons making the particular version(s) you got, all the way back to the time of Emperor Justinian and beyond.

            That’s a LOT of man-made changes, prejudices and agendas being stuck into a book that has gone through a whole lot of tampering over the past 2000 years or so (really about 1500).

    • davidbronx

      Another “man” who pretends to speak for God! Mind your own soul and let others take care of themselves.

    • 02Dave12345

      I’m all for segregation in the after life, spending eternity with Christian fundamentalists sounds like a special kind of hell.

    • Neal Feldman

      Please keep your insipid fairy tales and imaginary friends to yourself. They have no relevance outside of your cult.

      • No “fairy tales and imaginary friends” here. Only the doctrine of Christ.

        • Neal Feldman

          IOW fairy tales and imaginary friends.

          Unless you can produce this deity you claim exists and prove his existence.

          Shouldn’t be any trouble for a being that is all-knowing and all-powerful.

          I won’t be holding my breath waiting for you to manage it.

          Oh, and which Christ? The long blonde haired blue eyed fiction?

          • Larry J Dunster Sr

            You will find out on judgement day until then continue your ways because if you took a poll you would finfd that most of us don’t care about you

    • Bob Parker

      Bottom line for YOU maybe, but not everyone follows your religious beliefs. That’s why we have a 1st Amendment, to ensure that your beliefs don’t force any religious belief system on anyone else. The Constitution and its Amendments say that ALL citizens are to be treated equally under the law, period.

      Marriage, in the United States, is a matter of Civil Law. Therefore, it is not subject to religious scrutiny outside of the church. In your church, make whatever rules you want. Outside? None of your business.

  • George Jacob Garcia

    I just please ask that if you are going to take something out of context, don’t convey it as absolute validity. While Rand Paul does not personally advocate for same-sex marriage, he does not believe that the federal government should regulate it. He believes every individual has the liberty to do what they want, regardless of others opinions. He pretty much argues that religion has construed and skewed the perception of what “marriage” ought to be, and that this is the reason why it offends people whom are religious like himself. Furthermore, he believes that the “social contract” between two people should be mutual, and not regulated by federal government. It should be left up to the states….Rant over. For more proof, check link below.

    • 02Dave12345

      What Ron Paul supports is a state’s right to ban same sex marriage regardless of how the US Constitution might interpret the rights of same sex couples and the 1000+ legal benefits of a marriage license. Painting him as tolerant is taking his opinion out of context. Our Constitution protects ever citizen in every state from mob rule, Libertarians often disagree, they seem to believe we should have 50 separate governments. Laws passed on the whim of a local population regardless of the founders intentions. Many believe the laws in the South enforcing segregation during the Jim Crow era are Constitutional.


      shhhhhh, You’re going to confuse the haters with facts

      • 02Dave12345

        The issue here is how these facts are interpreted and how that weighs against established precedent in Constitutional law. If Rand Paul wants to advocate ending all government licensing of all marriages, taking away the 1000+ legal benefits from everyone, I might support him and that would be true Libertarianism. Getting the government out of the regulation of marriage. Of course he’s not going to do this because he’s a politician who needs the support of the ‘traditional Christian values’ crowd. The issue is about equal rights for every citizen and the separation of church and state. Separate but equal has already been ruled unconstitutional and Christian ‘morals’ should have no role in deciding who gets a license and who doesn’t.

  • greg drummond

    So basically he wants a “separate but equal” solution to the issue. Sounds vaguely familiar…

  • davidbronx

    I’m with Jedi Senshi, Rand Paul and his entire ILK offend me but I don’t see him slinking back under the rock from which he came. I want to know why Republicans, Tea Partiers and Conservatives in general think only about SEX because that’s what this is all about for THEM. Passing judgement on others is one of the things they do best.

    For us, it’s getting the same rights as all other tax paying, law biding citizens and that includes marriage and divorce (50% of all hetero marriages end in divorce so what’s the big whoop?). Many of us have done what many straight people have not, and that’s serve our country in the military.

    It’s civil rights and no one is forcing your precious bigoted churches to marry anyone they don’t want to marry. The Catholic church for instance would not marry a couple who isn’t from their parish and it’s always been that way.

    Worry about your own souls and let us deal with our God.

    • Larry J Dunster Sr

      So let it be called a civil union,you’ll have what you want and the others won’t be upset.As a Christian straight man I really don’t give a damn one way or the other what you people do,but you have those out there that like to stir up trouble on both sides

      • Theo Brinkman

        If it’s supposed to be the same thing, why should it have to be called something different? The country tried ‘separate but equal’ already. In practice it meant, ‘separate and blatantly unequal, but the people in power can publicly pretend otherwise by referencing a pretty slogan’.

      • Bob Parker

        Marriage is a contract offered by the State, not your church or any religion. Period. You, and people like you, don’t get to decide who does or does not qualify to receive a license for this State sanctioned contract. That is why these bans are unconstitutional.

        If religion had any place in the issue of marriage today, the entire subject would be one big cluster. Which church decides, based on what/whose rules? Are divorced people allowed to marry? Is divorce even allowed? What about cross-religion marriages? What about marriages between those who don’t practice a religion? How do you account for those who already have civil marriages, performed by judges, justices of the peace, etc.? There are thousands of marriages a day performed with NO religion involved at all.

        This has nothing to do with “stirring up trouble” and everything to do with equality. Plain and simple.

        • Larry J Dunster Sr

          Actually marriage is religious.The State government started handing out licenses to control disease and proper blood type then in later years they were just happy to collect money and the license rates just keep going up.Before the states did this you would go to a church leader and get a marriage performed.So you see you are wrong and all I’m saying is that if the homosexuals would agree to call it a civil union then the whacko Christian element would probably shut their collective pie holes and everyone would have what they want

          • Bob Parker

            Simply because you say “marriage is religious” doesn’t make it so, sorry. Secular marriage has been around a lot longer than your Christianity has. Try reading a few history books other than the Bible.

            “Before the states did this you would go to a church leader and get a marriage performed”

            Or a judge, or a ship captain, or a justice of the peace, or a mayor, or whole lots of people authorized to perform and register marriages, or they simply jumped the broom in front of friends & family and said “we’re married.” It was not a strictly religious observance. It only became so here in the US, although even here from the beginning there was a large element of secular marriages.

            As far as civil unions go, they tried that Grand Experiment in several states. It failed miserably. Bigoted and greedy companies used it as an excuse to treat couples unequally, denying well earned benefits because “they aren’t married” instead of treating it as an equal union. So much for “separate but equal” eh?

            The real solution is very simple. People mind their own f-ing business. I’ve been married to my husband socially for almost 17 years, legally for almost 7. We haven’t hurt anyone in that time, broken up or prevented any heterosexual marriages, the sky hasn’t fallen, civilization hasn’t collapsed, we haven’t destroyed any churches, we haven’t pulled anyone away from their religion – in short, nothing has changed. If all the Fundies would just MYOB then problem solved.

  • Rand Paul’s improper usage of the word “myself” is offensive to me. And what?

    • Kory Chatelain

      Really! And he going to run for President!?

  • 02Dave12345

    Kentucky’s constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage also bans civil unions, same sex marriages from other states and countries and any contract resembling same sex marriage. It’s one of the more extreme state amendments in the country. Here he is suggesting that civil unions would have been a good compromise.

    • Neal Feldman

      denying recognition of same sex marriages from other states is unconstitutional. It violates the full faith and credit clause.

      • 02Dave12345

        Kentucky’s ban on same sex marriage has already been struck down by a federal court because of this and the state is appealing the ruling. It’s one of the bans before the SCOTUS. It would be interesting to see Rand Paul challenged with the details of this issue since he represents Kentucky.

  • JaySFO

    Give that man a shovel. He’s going to need it in order to help dig the grave of that huge elephant.

  • baruchzed

    That’s OK Rand, your ignorance, dishonestly, and christofascism offend me.

  • Neal Feldman

    And you offend me and others.

    Sucks for you that being ignorant and stupid isn’t a protected group.

    And ‘Separate but Equal’ is neither and has clearly been proven so.

    You bigots do not own the word ‘marriage’ and you never have or will. Deal with it like the racists who opposed interracial marriage before the Loving ruling.

  • Randy Paul offends me.


  • raytheist

    Well, then he’ll just have to be offended. Nobody else’s problem but his own.

  • scott wansorjr
  • Thomas Mandile

    Why was his position misrepresented in the headline? That was dishonest .

  • Thomas Mandile

    I don’t think anybody should take anybody else seriously who says “That offends me.” Ever.

  • StevesWeb

    It has come to my attention that my marriage is causing emotional distress for Senator Rand Paul. To think that I might do harm to a Republican legislator, well, it’s like Christmas, innit?

  • MarkIra613

    Who gives a DAMN if gay marriage offends Rand Paul, or anyone else.

    This is the United States of America. We have a Constitution. It contains many articles and a heap of amendments. The 14th of those amendments contains something called an equal protection clause.

    As such, all that matters is if bans on gay marriage violate the Constitution, specifically that equal protection clause.

    So do these bans violate the 14th amendment? I cannot say.I’m not a constitutional expert, or even an attorney.

    But I know that denying a selected segment of adult society the opportunity to exercise a right accorded to straight couples is conspicuously unethical, and steeped in religious bias.

    And from a constitutional perspective, it seems to me like a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.

    As a committed Jew, my religious views on homosexuality (and by extension, gay marriage) could be in sharp contrast to proper civil law.

    But as an American who embraces with unbounded affection that magnificent wall our founding fathers built between religion and government, I could no more support a civil law barring gay marriage than I could support a civil law banning pork.

    In other words, the cost of an open and fair society is the possibility that someone will do and say things others might not like.

    For some Americans, the cost of the First Amendment might be rap music, Holocaust deniers, Fox News, or “American Idol.”

    For others, the cost of the Equal Protection clause in section one of the Fourteenth Amendment might be gay marriage.

    As obnoxious as some might find these things, these annoyances represent a cup of water in the ocean of benefits to living in a country where citizens are – or should be – permitted to peacefully live how they like, even if that includes my gay married neighbors cooking ribs on the barbecue while debating if Brad Pitt has a cuter ass than George Clooney.

    • jmolyn1

      What a bunch of crap. Even in the Supreme Court decision last week, it did not predicate gay marriage on a protected class basis for homosexuals. The constitution provides equal protection for everyone based upon national origin, sex, ethnicity/race, religion but NOT on homosexuality. Homosexuality is a behavior. Before homosexuals are homosexuals they are males and females, All males and females in the US have the same rights. Period. This Supreme Court decision, because just because one single judge is just WRONG. Today, the President of the National Association of African American Pastors, who marched with Martin Luther King, urged all church members to engage in civil protest, no less fervently than the civil rights marches of the 60s, because this ruling is just as wrong as separate but equal, Brown v. Board of Education, a black man is only worth 3/5 of a white person and a number of other Court decisions that have been reversed.

      As Justice Thomas stated, a court or a government cannot bestow dignity on anyone and there is not one word mentioned in any constitutional right about dignity being among those rights anyway.

  • Christopher Zimny

    The headline is misleading. He says calling it ‘marriage’ offends him, since he believes ‘marriage’ is defined as a union between a man and a woman. But that does not mean he is absolutley against it.

    He has said many times before (recently on the Daily Show, for instance) that he finds a lot of things personally distasteful, but would not ban them by government decree based on his personal feelings because his personal feelings are just that — personal — and therefore irrelevant to policy making. Instead, he believes in letting others do what they will do. (Essentially, “I don’t like it, but so what?”)

    I’m not for Rand Paul, but let’s have some intellectual honesty here.

    • 02Dave12345

      Maybe if he said “I don’t like interracial marriage but I support the right of a state to make it legal, and I also support the right of a state to make it illegal. And BTW, I’m running for President of the United States”, you’d understand why people are bothered by his point of view.

  • Larry J Dunster Sr

    What’s wrong with you homosexuals having a civil union?It would solve the problems between both factions.You’ll have your benefits and the term marriage won’t be used ,seems like a win for both sides

    • Theo Brinkman

      Sure. It’s a ‘win’ to have your relationship reduced to a second-class status. Right.

      Maybe straights should be relegated to a ‘civil union’, so that gays can have exclusive use of the term for a couple centuries. Bet you’re not so happy with the idea when the shoe is on the other foot.

      Hint: Marriage has been a civil contract since before the founding of Christianity, Judaism, or any other known religion. If the people fighting against gay marriage were *really* against ‘changing the definition of marriage’, they’d be fighting to reinstate marriage as the sale of a man’s daughter to the husband. But women’s aren’t considered property these days, so that would look unseemly, so they cloak their bigotry in religion instead.

      • Larry J Dunster Sr

        You are so off base.You have been listening to the liberals that re-write history

        • Bob Parker

          Larry, you seem to have this rut stuck in your mind about Civil Unions. Try asking someone who lives in New Jersey about the effectiveness of Civil Unions and the discrimination they faced there. They FLAT OUT FAILED. Separate but equal is NOT a solution, it’s just another problem.

          • Theo Brinkman

            Separate but equal has *never* worked in this country.

            As for the definition of marriage comment, that I think he was actually responding to, it wasn’t until the 1840s that *any* state in the US granted married women *any* control or ownership of property *AT ALL* once they were married. They could not sign contracts, or even appear in court. They were, for all intents and purposes, the property of their husband. Upon divorce, they were left with whatever the husband deigned to grant them (often nothing, not even the right to see their children). That’s a practice we inherited from British common law, and it goes all the way back to biblical times.

            Maybe he’s familiar with the concept of a ‘bride price’, or a dowry? (Probably not, as it would require at least a basic instinct to acquire knowledge.)

  • ELBSeattle

    If same sex marriage offends you, Rand Paul, the solution is astonishingly simple: don’t marry a member of the same sex. Problem solved 100%. The end.

  • Islomane

    I’ll tell you what will offend Rand Paul and others: the big F*** YOU! I’ll give you when you say my marriage “offends” you.

  • Patricia Garvin Fox

    There is no right not to be offended.

  • Taking such a stand moves him away from the liberty (libertarian) principles of his father.

  • The problem with his position is that religious groups that support same sex marriage specifically describe the unions as bound by the same sacrament as what they offer heterosexual couples. To compel a religious leader to change their definitions is a violation of their First Amendment rights.

  • Kennon

    What this click bait piece of crap headline does not mention is just because something offends you doesn’t mean you want it to be illegal. It is fine he personally does not agree with same sex marriage but the fact is besides Bernie Sanders he is the ONLY person running for POTUS who has not supported laws against same sex marriage. Just because I think people who smoke dope are morons, but I still argue for them to have the right to do so. I think the KKK and the Black Panthers are a bunch of hateful idiots but I still would fight for their right to speak their agenda. Most of the commenters here need to read beyond the headlines and grow the hell up.

    • Larry J Dunster Sr

      It will never happen at least not until they are taught reading comprehension.If they read at all they still lack the ability to understand what they have read and in that lies the problem with every article written
      on social media and all news feeds

    • 02Dave12345

      Rand Paul absolutely supports laws banning same sex marriage. He supports a state’s right to decide this issue. He supports every state constitutional amendment that bans same sex marriage. Giving voters the right to decide who has full rights and who doesn’t, regardless if a court of law determines that these amendments are unconstitutional. In Rand Paul’s state of Kentucky, that amendment also bans civil unions and any contract resembling same sex marriage, it’s one of the most extreme in the country. Paul has never once voiced opposition to his own state’s amendment, he has only voiced support. Painting Libertarians as live and let live liberals is very misleading. There are some similarities on social issues but there are some huge differences.

      A Libertarian generally supports an individual’s right to discriminate in a place of business or as a landlord. Liberals believe that no person should be denied employment or services based on their race, sex, religion, orientation, etc. They believe it’s up to the federal government to protect the Constitutional rights of all people regardless of what state they live in.

  • Rena

    All these comments are hateful toward Paul. When did our society become careful not to offend anyone who is within what is now considered right. I think Paul is entitled to his opinion just like anyone else is and it is actually very brave of him to do so since many are against that. George Orwell said “the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” I just think that everyone can have there own opinions, people shouldn’t try to force there’s upon others. To me that’s the true definition of freedom.

  • jmolyn1

    The problem many people have with the so-called issue of gay rights is that there is no such thing. There are rights for US citizens. Nowhere is anything mentioned about homosexual rights. Indeed, even in the Supreme Court decision last week, the decision was not based upon any constitutional law or on a protected class of homosexuals. All gays can get married, just like all heterosexuals. Gays are all about behavior. Federal law states that rights are the same for all based upon sex, national origin, race, religion but NO mention of how people act such as homosexuals.

    If one were to just set aside the “gay”aspect and refer to everyone in the US as male and female, gays are included in the ranks of male and female, then they have the same rights.

    Gays just do not want to admit that the fact that their homosexual orientation, no matter if it originated by birth or environment, is a disorder. Any species that has a trait such that it cannot of its own reproduce itself is a disorder. This is not to say it is wrong, bad, morally evil, etc. but it is a disorder, most likely a physiological disorder. The homosexual position is that society should change what is normal just for them. Now, that is morally wrong.

  • Willow C. Arune

    i am deeply offended by Rand Paul. So he should be illegal.

  • Thomas Gerard

    It would be political suicide in a backward state like Kentucky to say otherwise. Rand is a disciple of objectivist, atheist, pro-abortion Ayn Rand (close personal friend of his father). He has to feign these pseudo-christian beliefs.

  • Christopher L Banacka

    It may offend him, but he doesn’t think the government should be involved.
    Just like smell of pot offends me, i don’t think the government should be involved!

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