Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) is not backing off his claim that a six-and-a-half-year-old same-sex marriage ruling in Massachusetts could conceivably pave the way for men marrying horses.
The Arizona Republican primary challenger to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) issued a statement on Monday afternoon defending the comments he had made the day before and pledging not to be intimidated by "the liberal media" attacking him for it.
"[S]adly, the liberal media, intent on defending the ultra-leftist, progressive politicians in Massachusetts, are attacking me for standing up once again for family values and for rejecting this absurd court ruling," read Hayworth's statement. "But they don't intimidate me at all. I know right from wrong and as a staunch defender of the institution of marriage, I know I can count on millions of supporters across America to stand with me when our values are under attack -- and when I am under attack for standing up to defend those values."
Hayworth had come under some fire -- but more ridicule -- for telling a conservative Orlando radio station on Sunday that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had defined marriage so loosely in its November 2003 decision legalizing same-sex unions that it opened the door to human-steed nuptials. The former congressman was basing his argument on a provision in the law that he said defined marriage as simply, "the establishment of intimacy."
The problem, however, was that no such provision seems to exist in the court's decision. In fact, the court defined marriage quite specifically as "the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others."
Hayworth was asked about this discrepancy during an appearance on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, and he had no honest rejoinder.
"You and I can have a disagreement about that," he proclaimed, when asked from where he drew the "establishment of intimacy line."
"Well, it either is true or it isn't," Maddow replied. "It's empirical."
"Okay," said Hayworth. "Well I appreciate the fact that we have a disagreement on that. I'm sure one of many disagreements we would have ... I thank you for the chance to join you."