Let’s Stop Pretending Rand Paul Is Even Remotely Pro-Gay. Here’s Proof That He Isn’t.

Rand PaulFor reasons that only the gods can divine, some people insist on thinking that Sen. Rand Paul’s libertarianism is a good thing for the LGBT community. In part, that’s because of Paul’s stated opposition to a national law banning marriage equality, which he warned conservatives would be a losing battle. In part, it’s also because Paul sounds reasonable when he says that Republicans can agree to disagree about marriage equality.

But does this sound reasonable?

“I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage. I also believe this power belongs to the states and the people, not the federal government. It is illegitimate for the federal courts to intrude here.”

That’s Paul speaking on Tuesday to defend Kentucky’s ban on marriage equality. He had been taking heat from religious conservatives for not speaking out sooner about the federal court ruling ordering Kentucky to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. Paul obliged them with rhetoric that they would adore.

Paul’s statement is more radical than it appears at first glance (as are many things about Paul). Paul is saying that the federal government has no role in ensuring the rights of citizens if states decide to discriminate. Even if that discrimination violates the U.S. Constitution, the federal courts should butt out. In other words, Paul would create a system where states would be able to discriminate for as long as they wish.

Paul is planning a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and by some accounts is the current front runner. And the so-called new thinker is doing his best to suck up to some of the biggest homophobes in the GOP universe. He is suddenly identifying himself as “Christian” at every chance he gets. Last month he spoke at a conference convened by the American Principles Project, a far-right group for whom anti-marriage activist Maggie Gallagher serves as a fellow. “Libertarian and liberty doesn’t mean libertine,” Paul told the group, defending traditional family values.

Nobody who truly believes in anything remotely pro-LGBT would appear before a group that thinks Maggie Gallagher has the intellectual chops to be labeled a fellow. But then, Paul and Maggie are kindred spirits. After the Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA, Paul suggested that the decision may have cleared the way for people to marry animals.

Paul’s had plenty of chances to prove us wrong, and he keeps failing them. Most recently, he was asked point blank whether he supported Arizona’s right-to-discriminate bill. All Paul could answer was “Let me get back to you.” In other words, Paul doesn’t want to be seen in the mainstream media as a bigot because it would hurt his image. But he has no problem pandering to the homophobic right when the mainstream press isn’t around.

So the next time you hear someone talk about Paul as a moderating influence in the Republican party, don’t be fooled. He can be as homophobic as the next right-winger. Just because he uses liberty to cloak his rhetoric, it still has the same effect. As far as Rand Paul’s concerned, we’re second-class citizens.

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  • BJ McFrisky

    Paul has no chance of being a 2016 nominee. Unless, of course, Republicans follow the Dem’s lead by nominating a first-term senator with no experience, i.e., our current affirmative-action president.

  • sangsue

    We should listen to someone who is named after cat food.

  • Niall

    This article is actually the first time I’ve heard that anyone thought Rand Paul was pro-gay

  • pierre

    @Niall: I was thinking the same thing. Who ever thought this rabid dog was pro-gay?

  • Caleb in SC

    As much as I despise this guy, strictly speaking, Rand Paul is correct about federal courts not getting involved in marriage issues. The only two areas of the law where states have sacrosanct powers are marriage and probate issues. While I wholeheartedly agree with the federal rulings thus far, federal district courts (and courts of appeal) do not have the power to act in these cases.

  • ait10101

    @Caleb in SC: I guess you disagree with the Supreme Court decision of 1967 then, that overthrew laws against interracial marriage.

  • EGO

    Unfortunately some state governments have people that do not use their heads to decide civil issues. They simply repeat what they learned from their religion instead of keeping church and state separate.

    We are a nation of laws which should provide equal rights to all American citizens. The reason federal courts must get involved in marriage issues is because there are federal marriage laws for taxes, Social Security, beneficiaries, etc. States that are refusing equal rights for all of their citizens are complicating their procedures for resolving both state and federal issues, and this will cost them more money.

  • mcflyer54

    @Caleb in SC: I have to agree. I sort of like the idea of my marital status changing from state to state. I only hope that if I have a heart attack while vacationing it happens in a state that recognizes my marriage so that my husband can make the necessary medical decision that might save my life.

  • manjoguy

    Well, I guess Paul would following in the footsteps of Obama and Holder regarding anything that “violates the U.S. Constitution.” We all know what our current president and AG think of our Constitution.

  • samwise343

    @Caleb in SC: You should take a crack at reading the US Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, and even more specifically, the Equal Protection Clause.

  • queerbec

    I know of several gay men who strongly support Rand Paul particularly for his stance on reducing taxes by severely downsizing the federal government. They seem to think that is the most important issue facing the country all other issues be damned. I don’t agree at all and find these folks to be extremely selfish (those that I know–I am not speaking about gay Rand supporters I don’t know).

  • SteveDenver

    The historic and religious definition of marriage is that a man can have as many wives as he can afford.

  • SteveDenver

    @queerbec: I strongly agree with you about the selfishness of ANYONE who supports RPaul, especially gays and lesbians. Michelangelo Signorile grilled gays about their support of Republicans in general. They admitted that their pocketbook was more important than their civil liberties or anyone else’s.

  • Joetx

    Let’s also stop pretending his father, Ron Paul, is even remotely pro-gay.

  • seaguy

    He’s a pathetic desperate moron who stooped so low as to dredge up the Lewinsky affair and then called Clinton a predator. He’s an embarrassment to the country to be serving in the US Senate. Probably got his medical degree out of a cracker jack box.

  • Caleb in SC

    @ait10101: @samwise343: Yes, I have read the Constitution — all of it. Why don’t you both take a crack at the 10th Amendment? BTW, are either you an attorney? I am.

  • Joetx

    @Caleb in SC: You must not be a good attorney, then.

  • jar

    I don’t see how the writer extrapolates Rand’s belief that marriage is an issue for the states (which is constitutionally true) with Rand doesn’t believe the feds should be involved in constitutional law issues. That’s just lazy reporting. The problem for Rand and others who agree with him is that he needs to share his views on those issues on which the supreme court has ruled on equal protection grounds. Should states be allowed to outlaw interracial marriage? Should states be permitted to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender?

  • Caleb in SC

    @Joetx: Attack me personally all you want. It doesn’t change what the Constitution says. Your personal attack demonstrates your character, not mine.

Comments are closed.