Rand Paul’s Long Game For Defeating Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

April 8th, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calls for a tactical retreat on the federal level in the short term in exchange for a thirty-year state-by-state ground game:

(at 5:29) I think that we’ve got a long history with marriage. I’m not willing to give up on it yet, and the family unit, even above and beyond America and before America, the family unit is something that has come about for thousands of years, you know. We’ve had a family structure and thing it’s an important structure. And not everybody in the country is going to agree with me on that. You know, there are people, and young people seem to be changing their opinions. But I think we should still be in favor of what what we’re in favor of. And that there is a traditional family unit and that it’s important.

The law is going to be someone different in the sense of where marriage is adjudicated, whether it’s at the federal level or at the state level. We’ve always had marriage certificates and we’ve had them at the state level. If we keep it that way, maybe we can still have the discussion going on without making the decision go all the way one way or all the way the other way. Because I think right now if we say we only believe in a federally-mandated one-man, one-woman marriage, we’re going to lose that battle because the country is going the other way right now. If we were to say each state can decide, I think a good 25, 30 states still do believe in traditional marriage, and maybe we allow the debate to go on for another couple of decades and see if we can still win back the hearts and minds of people.


April 8th, 2013

What a sterling libertarian.

David in the O.C.

April 8th, 2013

Who the hell is “giving up” on opposite-sex marriage? People that support marriage equality ALSO support men and women still getting married.

So according to Mr. Paul, if you allow gay couples to ALSO have the right to get married, then the opposite-sex couple “family unit” will no long exist? How exactly does that work? Men won’t marry women anymore if that gay couple that they don’t even know gets married?

Ben In Oakland

April 8th, 2013

Still the same protect marriage defense of marriage nonsense. Protect marriage from little old me, who can destroy marriage with two snaps up of my little pinky and bring down the wrath of god?

This is why civil unions are not going to make it for me. becuase it accepts that so called logic, which in my book is simply another antigay imsult.

Priya Lynn

April 8th, 2013

I’m sick of this trojan horse too. All this “we’ve got a long history with marriage…I’m not willing to give up on it…the family unit…a family structure an important structure…we should still be in favor of what what we’re in favor of…there is a traditional family unit and that it’s important.” is just a mask for what they’re really about which is being anti-gay.

They do NOTHING for “marriage, the family unit, the important structure, the traditional important family unit”, their actions are strictly anti-gay, not pro-family. They don’t get to pretend they’re about something good when the reality is they’re all about something bad.

Sir Andrew

April 8th, 2013

The implication in all of the anti-marriage equality thetoric is that if gays are allowed to marry, straights will be denied marriage rights. AND the children of opposite-gender parents will be taken from them and given to gay parents to raise. Fear, fear and more fear based on non-existent threats. It pisses me off that news analysts have yet to identify this weakness in the arguments.

Gene in L.A.

April 8th, 2013

“You know, there are people, and young people seem to be changing their opinions. But I think we should still be in favor of what what we’re in favor of. And that there is a traditional family unit and that it’s important.”

Why can’t Americans teach their children how to speak?

Richard Rush

April 8th, 2013

The bottom line is that gays are icky, and anything we touch is forever tainted. Ergo, the sanctity of traditional marriage and divorce must be protected from those whose presence would soil it.

I’ve sometimes thought that my husband and I are a major threat to traditional marriage because our 31 years together make so many of them seem inferior when you consider all their irresponsible reckless breeding and frequent divorces. But then I always come to my senses and realize that it can never play out that way because we are icky.


April 8th, 2013

Paul says marriage is adjudicated at the state level but my husband and I get over 1000 benefits because our marriage is federally recognized. As long as that injustice exists for married gay and lesbian couples, we have to change federal law.


April 8th, 2013

This is from the guy who wants to repeal the Civil Rights Act, and abolish the Fed. He has lots of unrealistic dreams. Him and his father act like naive school children.


April 8th, 2013

I don’t know why everyone here is unable to see a victory from this. Paul may not be an advocate for SSM but what he is doing is giving the GOP, especially its social con wing, a way to disengage on this issue on the national stage. That only benefits SSM moving forward. I’d like a total victory now, today, but am realistic about it. We’ve accomplished much more than I thought possible in the past decade, and State after State are slowly coming around. So if the battle is thrown to the States for awhile, so be it. As Paul tacitly acknowledges, it’s a losing battle. There’s a generational change that’s quickly coming and the more States that break for SSM or even civil unions the closer we get to a Loving-type ruling on the remaining holdouts. This is not perfect but I see Paul’s remarks as good progress.

Timothy Kincaid

April 9th, 2013


But if, IF, Paul is saying that DOMA should be reversed and that the FMA should be abandoned, I’ll welcome that message.

(But he really does need to stop pretending that he’s libertarian)


April 9th, 2013

JohnAGJ — I’m not so sanguine about a state-by-state approach. Look what’s happening in the states on women’s health care and reproductive autonomy. And now there are clowns like Cuccinelli in Virginia, who’s fighting to keep an unconstitutional sodomy law on the books. While support for equal marriage may be growing nationally — and in every state, if I’m to believe this morning’s headlines — that doesn’t translate to votes in legislatures. And the idea of popular votes on this matter makes my hair stand up and always has.

And there is a fundamental federal issue involved here — the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal treatment under the law. I’m perfectly happy to have that supersede any state law.

And Rand Paul is an idiot anyway. I’m pretty sure he’s the stupidest sitting senator.


April 9th, 2013

Well, he does hold the “Jim Bunning Certifiable Moron” seat…


April 9th, 2013

He wants so bad to tell the rest of us exactly how to live our lives. While pretending to be a libertarian.


April 10th, 2013

@Hunter: It makes the struggle more lengthy but I view Paul’s remarks as a tacit admission of defeat. He strongly has indicated that the most the socons can hope for is to prolong the inevitable and maybe reverse the tide, although he doesn’t seem very confident of the latter. In fact, I’d say this is just a sop to the socons to help them disengage nationally without “losing face” or feeling like they’ve compromised on their principles. Whatever, if it helps move this along than I’m all for it. I’d prefer having two parties that focus on real issues rather than just the social wedges.

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