Rand Paul this week announced he supports a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage because social issues like banning marriage equality and abortion define the GOP.
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.
Referring to Senator Paul's method of choosing positions, Coulter opined,Â â€œI think itâ€™s a little like a compass. It used to be whatever would please 15-year-old Ayn Rand readers was his position. Now, itâ€™s whatever will please basically the mainstream media.â€
That "flip-flopping" is also seemingly apparent in his positions on same-sex marriage as well -- at least to a point.
Paul has the greatÂ privilege of being on the cover of The New York Times Magazine this Sunday.
â€” Matt Dorfman (@mattdorfman) August 7, 2014
In the cover story interview, which was published in the online version of the Times today, the Tea Party libertarian offers these thoughts on same-sex marriage.
â€œThe party canâ€™t become the opposite of what it is,â€ he told me. â€œIf you tell people from Alabama, Mississippi or Georgia, â€˜You know what, guys, weâ€™ve been wrong, and weâ€™re gonna be the pro-gay-marriage party,â€™ theyâ€™re either gonna stay home or â€” I mean, many of these people joined the Republican Party because of these social issues. So I donâ€™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. Itâ€™ll either continue to lose, or itâ€™ll become a bigger place where thereâ€™s a mixture of opinions.â€
In other words, the Republican base isÂ inherently anti-gay, but he would like it if same-sex marriage and equality supporters could ignore thatÂ pivotal issue and join the Grand Old Party anyway.
The Human Rights Campaign chose to identify whatÂ they see as Paul taking two sides on marriage -- or, as they put it in their title, "Rand Paul on Marriage Equality: Â¯\_(ãƒ„)_/Â¯"
In less than 48 hours, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has staked out a perilous position on the issue of marriage equality. AfterÂ telling a group of RepublicansÂ yesterday that he is â€œin favor of the conceptâ€ of a Federal Marriage Amendment, inÂ a new interview released today, the presumptive 2016 GOP presidential candidate seemed to offer an odd shrug.
HRC Vice President for Communications Fred Sainz described his reaction to Paul's staking out dual positions as "confused."
"I just hope that when the libertarian from Kentucky heads to Iowa and New Hampshire, he doesnâ€™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 donâ€™t engage in a meaningful way, and fast.â€
But is Senator Rand Paul staking a claim to both sides?
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.
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