Paul pledges to be 'in the thick' of protests if Supreme Ct. rejects states' rights in gay marriage case

05/12/2013 09:07 PM

NORTH LIBERTY, IOWA — To Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, the biggest question at stake before the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of the Defense of Marriage Act isn’t who should be able to get married — it’s who should decide who can get married.

After speaking to a group of 65 Republicans in southeastern Iowa on Saturday, Paul took a few questions from the audience and fielded one about his position on gay marriage right off the bat. Johnson County Iowa Rick David asked about a Bloomberg article , which ran with a headline suggesting that Paul was breaking with the Republican Party over gay marriage.

Paul responded that the headline misinterpreted his position and that he, personally, believes “in traditional marriage and always have.”

But Paul said the U.S. Supreme Court decision is more about states’ rights to define marriage than anything else. And that’s what he’s most passionate about.

“The Supreme Court is going to come down with a decision … I’m hoping they do preserve the right of the states to make the decision,” Paul said . “There’s a chance they overturn that. If they overturn that, I think all bets are of And I think it’s going to be an enormous maelstrom. And I’ll be right in the thick of it because I think every state should be able to decide.”

The Supreme Court heard arguments in March about the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act as well as California’s Proposition 8 that voters approved in 2008 that outlined marriage as between a man and a woman.

After the GOP breakfast on Saturday, Paul expanded on the issue with reporters.

“I’m not for judging individuals based on their behavior … Courts should be blind to things like that,” he said. “I really don’t believe in rights based on your behavior.”

Here’s what he said:

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