Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said that without the Defense of Marriage Act, there’s nothing to stop people from marrying nonhumans: Pets, plants, security blankies, you name it.
Some in the anti-marriage equality crowd argue that while gay marriage might not be so bad, legalization is a slippery slope into bestial marriage and all manner of state-sanctioned kink. That seems to be the line Paul has taken, calling gay marriage a “conundrum” that could lead to 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,” he said on Glenn Beck’s radio show Wednesday.
“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,” Paul 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.”
These comments can be difficult to parse if one is willing to give Paul the benefit of the doubt. He is on the record as opposing DOMA, but for judicial reasons.
Later, a Paul spokesperson said that his comments about animal marriages were sarcastic.
“What he was discussing was that having the state recognize marriage without definition could lead to marriages with no basis in reality,” communications direction Moira Bagley said.
Listen in on Rand Paul’s discussion on marriage equality and DOMA below, and decide for yourself!
[Image via: Gage Skidmore]