Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) opposes same-sex marriage, but his tactics for doing so are unique. For example, last month he offered a completely unfeasible suggestion to simply erase any mention of marriage from the laws and establish all its protections through various contracts. But he really isn’t interested in taking any steps to help that along. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network this weekend, he expressed hope that by continuing to allow individual states to decide, the debate on same-sex marriage might continue unresolved for several decades:
PAUL: Where marriage is adjudicated, whether it’s at the federal level or at the state level, we’ve always had marriage certificates and we’ve had them at the state level. If we keep it that way, maybe we can still have the discussion go on without make the decision go all the way one way or all the way the other way.
I think right now if we say we’re only going to have a federally mandated one-man, one-woman marriage, we’re going to lose that battle because the country is going the other way right now. If we were to say each state can decide, I think a good 25, 30 states still do believe in traditional marriage, and maybe we allow that debate to go on for another couple of decades and see if we can still win back the hearts and minds of people.
Polls have consistently trended in only one direction on the question of same-sex marriage, so there is little evidence Paul could “still win back the hearts and minds of people.” Indeed, people who know somebody who is gay or who understand sexual orientation are more likely to support marriage equality. Paul doesn’t seem to care about justice or even morality in how he would resolve this issue — he just doesn’t want to lose.