Rand Paul used to be more moderate in his views on marriage equality. He used to believe in “old-fashioned, traditional marriage,” but didn’t think the government should get too involved in it. He even said the Republican Party could have people on both sides of the issue. Sadly, that’s changed.
Now, according to Right Wing Watch, he’s shifted way far right on the issue, going so far as to say:
Don’t always look to Washington to solve anything. In fact, the moral crisis we have in our country, there is a role for us trying to figure out things like marriage, there’s also a moral crisis that allows people to think that there would be some sort of other marriage.
Since Rand Paul is considering a presidential bid, he might just be pandering to the social conservatives who think that marriage equality is a threat to their entire way of life. It’s sad, really, that we have so many here who insist that two people of the same gender shouldn’t marry, but can’t name a single, real problem that marriage equality would cause. It offends their sensibilities and their personal morals, so of course, it should be outlawed.
Social conservatives are trying to find a candidate they can get behind, because they think their losses in 2008 and 2012 were due to the Republicans’ failure to nominate a sufficiently conservative candidate who could excite the base. The New York Times says that meetings and conference calls have been happening all over the country recently, as leaders of the religious right try to decide who they should all back. It’d be surprising if people like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were unaware of this.
Rand Paul is trying to position himself as “the electable Ted Cruz,” according to the Washington Post. Paul believes that the only real place that he and Cruz differ is in their approach to growing the party. Polls show Paul currently fares better against Hillary Clinton than Cruz does, and he’s likely looking to capitalize on that as much as possible.
We don’t need someone in the White House who’s going to call the fight for marriage equality a “moral crisis.” Someone like Rand Paul, who thinks he’s a libertarian, ought to understand that if the only way to define marriage is the way he thinks the Bible does, then there’s a problem with trying to force that definition on the entire nation. But, to connect with the social conservatives who are sure they’re some sort of silent majority, he needs to take this stand. So he is.