Rand Paul: Ga. can’t help but hate gay marriage

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Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican likely to run for president, gave a pass to gay marriage bigots in Georgia, excusing their opposition as something to be expected. Because Georgia.

Paul, who tilts more red meat Republican than Libertarian when it comes to marriage equality, opined to the New York Times Magazine that Georgians really can't be expected to know better. He certainly doesn't. Neither does Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, a Republican who is defending the state's gay marriage ban.

So when it comes to the GOP's attempts at broadening their reach, backing gay marriage won't help, Paul says.

“The party can’t become the opposite of what it is,” he told me. “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.”

HRC blasted Paul for his flip-flopping around on gay marriage. His statements in the magazine profile were published two days after Paul backed a Federal Marriage Amendment banning gay marriage.

Foundation of civilization and all that, Paul tells CNN.

Asked whether he would support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he supports the idea of traditional marriage but thinks Washington shouldn’t be involved in the issue.

“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.”

Fred Sainz, HRC's vice president for communications, says Paul's recent ramblings on gay marriage left him “confused.”

“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.”

So, Georgia will get gay marriage when old Republicans die. Or the Supreme Court rules in favor one of the marriage challenges heading its way. Whichever comes first.


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