GOP Rep. links same-sex marriage and bestiality

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol March 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. Republican members from the House of Representatives gatherered to speak out against the health care bill which is the topic of a case before the Supreme Court next week.
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Updated: 3:24 p.m. ET

Not everyone is joining the movement in favor of same-sex marriage.

Even as a growing chorus of lawmakers from the left and the right speak out in favor of marriage equality, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, an outspoken conservative with a history of making controversial remarks, was caught on tape equating same-sex marriage with bestiality.

Gohmert, who drew criticism last summer when he suggested the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., were a result of national "attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs," was recorded in a conference call with the group Tea Party Unity talking about why he objects to imposing limits on high-capacity magazines. From there, he made his way over to the issue of marriage equality, and the idea that changing its definition to include two men or two women would open the door to granting marriage rights to someone who "has love for an animal."

"Well, once you make it 10, then why would you draw the line at 10? What's wrong with nine? Or 11?" he asked, referring to the possibility of banning high-capacity ammunition clips for non-military citizens. "And the problem is once you draw that limit; it's kind of like marriage when you say it's not a man and a woman anymore, then why not have three men and one woman, or four women and one man, or why not, you know, somebody has a love for an animal?"

"There is no clear place to draw the line once you eliminate the traditional marriage and it's the same once you, you draw, you remove, the - or you start putting limits on what guns can be used, then it's just really easy to have laws that make them all illegal," he added.

The debate over same-sex marriage has amplified in recent weeks, as the Supreme Court heard arguments on two landmark cases surrounding the issue. But as polls show an increasingly broad base of support for marriage equality, politicians have been swiftly moving to the left on the issue: In recent months, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Claire McCaksill, D-Mo., Mark Kirk, D-Ill., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Tom Carper, D-Del., have all come out in favor of the issue, with only seven Senate Democrats standing in opposition.

Kimberly Willingham, a spokesperson for Gohmert, dismissed as "disingenuous and dishonest" the notion that Gohmert's remarks qualify as having "equated" bestiality to same-sex marriage "or that he suggested one leads to the other."

"He was clearly making the slippery-slope argument that if the factual definition of marriage, that pre-exists governments instituted by men, is changed to suit the desires of the few, then there is no limit to where the lines are drawn," she said.