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.”