First, it was reported that Senator Paul made this statement in Iowa when asked if he supported a federal (same-sex) marriage amendment:
“I’m in favor of the concept,” the Kentucky Republican told an audience in Iowa. “I am in favor of traditional marriage, and I think that’s been the foundation for civilization for thousands of years.”And then in a story that will run in New York Times Magazine this Sunday, Senator Paul made another comment on the issue. It follows:
“And the loss of the idea of marriage is probably the leading cause of poverty in our country, in the sense that if you kids before you’re married, your chance of being in poverty is three of four times that of anyone else,” he continued.
“The party can’t become the opposite of what it is,” Paul explained to author Robert Draper. “If you tell people from Alabama, Mississippi or Georgia, ‘You know what, guys, we’ve been wrong, and we’re gonna be the pro-gay-marriage party,’ they’re either gonna stay home or — I mean, many of these people joined the Republican Party because of these social issues. So I don’t think we can completely flip. But can we become, to use the overused term, a bigger tent? I think we can and can agree to disagree on a lot of these issues. I think the party will evolve. It’ll either continue to lose, or it’ll become a bigger place where there’s a mixture of opinions.” [Emphasis added.]So, that sounds a bit like "No, we will not support marriage equality, but we want you to vote for Republicans anyway so we can win national elections."
In response to Senator Paul’s comments, HRC’s Vice President for Communications Fred Sainz released the following statement:And, from that same HRC blog post:
“I can’t decide whether to be disturbed or pleased, so I’ve settled on confused. I just hope that when the libertarian from Kentucky heads to Iowa and New Hampshire, he doesn’t leave his love of liberty at home. The Republican party must move forward on this issue. The clock is ticking, three marriage cases have already reached the Supreme Court, and there is no doubt that this issue will cause the GOP enormous pain in 2016 if they don’t engage in a meaningful way, and fast.”
It is worth noting that Senator Paul’s confusing position on this issue is nothing new. In March 2013, Paul told Fox News Sunday "I don't think the federal government should tell anybody or any state government how they should decide this [issue]." But in June of 2013, he insinuated that marriage equality would lead to bestiality, telling Glenn Beck, "If we have no laws on this people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans?”Even Ann Coulter is mocking his positions on various issues.
Rand Paul, aside from being widely mocked this week by the news media for literally running away from an immigrant activist, was also mocked this week by Ann Coulter for his varying positions on aid to Israel.David Badash writes in that same article:
Referring to Senator Paul's method of choosing positions, Coulter opined, “I think it’s a little like a compass. It used to be whatever would please 15-year-old Ayn Rand readers was his position. Now, it’s whatever will please basically the mainstream media.”
That "flip-flopping" is also seemingly apparent in his positions on same-sex marriage as well -- at least to a point.
But is Senator Rand Paul staking a claim to both sides?I suspect that he is correct.
Like his father's denial of any knowledge of horrible racist and anti-gay attacks in the newsletters that bear his name, his son, the Senator from Kentucky, is perfectly willing to let the public decide what his positions are.
Anyone who supports writing discrimination into the U.S. Constitution has already spoken loud and clear.