U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is making headlines over his comments during his appearance at the Capitol Hill Club on Mar. 26, in which he stated that there is a “moral crisis that allows people to think there would be some other sort of marriage.”
Paul was speaking to a group of pastors and religious media personalities, including Jerry Johnson, the chief executive of National Religious Broadcasters.
In his comments, Paul referenced the First Amendment in his reasoning saying, “The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government.”
“We open the Senate every day with a prayer,” he continued. “You have prayer in government.”
Paul’s comments come shortly after the public outcry over the new Indiana law that some say discriminates against gay citizens. There’s also much speculation that Paul will announce his candidacy for president on April 7, becoming the second Republican to make a run for the White House after Ted Cruz.
The Washington Post reports that the Kentucky senator seemed to have changed his views on gay-marriage in the last few months.
“In an interview with CNN in October, Paul said he believes in “old-fashioned marriage,” but he said that the government shouldn’t be involved and that the Republican Party can “have people on both sides of the issue,” wrote the Post.
Much like his father Ron, the former Texas congressman and 2012 presidential candidate, Rand Paul has typically held views closer to a libertarian perspective than of the two major political parties. However, he has been recruiting more conservative Republicans lately, perhaps in an effort to secure more votes to win the Republican primary for president.
One of Paul’s more interesting comments on the topic came in March 2013 when he was asked about moderate voters and the Republican Party’s position on gay marriage.
"I'm not going to change who I am or what I believe in," Paul said. "I am an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historical definition of marriage. That being said, I think contracts between adults—I'm not for limiting contracts between adults. In fact, if there are ways to make the tax code more neutral where it doesn't mention the word marriage, then we don't have to redefine what marriage is. We just don't have marriage in the tax code. If health benefits are a problem, why don't we not define them by marriage? Why don't we say, you have another adult who lives in the house, and a kid who lives in the house can be part of family coverage? Then you don't have to redefine, and have people like myself, and people who live in the southeastern part of the country, we don't have to change our definition of what we think marriage is, but we allow contracts to occur so there is more ability to [make] the law neutral."