ThinkProgress filed this report from Pella, Iowa.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) became flustered yesterday afternoon when pressed on his position on the government’s role in regulating marriage during an appearance at a “Presidential Symposium” sponsored by the Family Leader — an anti-gay group working to repeal a 2009 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Paul mostly stuck to his signature issues of abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning the United States back to the gold standard in his 25 minute “lecture” but also mentioned the importance of the family and his support for the Defense of Marriage Act. Paul even chastised President Obama for failing to defend the law, arguing that the Act preserved the rights of local government and peoples to uphold certain community standards.
But during a press availability following the event, Paul said that the Iowa Supreme Court has a Constitutional right to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, leading his aide to intervene and remind him that he also supported the Family Leader’s successful campaign to recall the judges who issued the ruling:
REPORTER: The state court’s ability to legalize [same-sex marriage] you’re okay with that?
PAUL: Oh yea, sure, every state should have a right, the same way when…
[Aide attempts to correct Paul, saying he supports the recall of judges.]
REPORTER: So you support the ruling, you also support…
PAUL: I support the state of Iowa to get rid of the judges and to write laws dealing with marriage, not the federal government. DOMA I believe was undermining that right so Iowa has the right to determine what they want in marriage.
On Friday, Paul told Iowa Radio, “We just don’t need the government defining marriage. Society should do that. And if you have a certain society that has respect for traditional marriage, that’s what would happen.” During a Presidential debate in 2007, Paul argued, “My personal belief is that marriage is a religious ceremony. And it should be dealt with religiously. The [government] really shouldn’t be involved.“ “I am supportive of all voluntary associations and people can call it whatever they want,” he added.