The new "man on dog"?

J.D. Hayworth, running against John McCain, worries about horse marriage

Published March 15, 2010 5:01PM (EDT)

During his current primary challenge of Sen. John McCain, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth has been saying some outlandish things. First, he seemed to embrace Birtherism; now he's trying to outdo former Sen. Rick Santorum.

"You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, when it started this move toward same-sex marriage, actually defined marriage -- now get this -- it defined marriage as simply, quote, 'the establishment of intimacy,'" Hayworth said during a radio interview this past weekend.

"Now how dangerous is that? I mean, I don't mean to be absurd about it, but I guess I can make the point of absurdity with an absurd point -- I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse. It's just the wrong way to go, and the only way to protect the institution of marriage is with that federal marriage amendment that I support."

It's hard to pick out the most ridiculous thing about this, but if I had to do it, it would be this: The Massachusetts Supreme Court did not define marriage as "the establishment of intimacy." (In fact, a search of the court's decision didn't turn up a single use of that phrase.) What it did, several times, was emphasize that marriage is a union of two willing partners -- and since, legally, animals can't give their consent, a union between a man and a horse could never fall under that definition.

Audio of Hayworth is below, with a hat-tip to Below the Beltway.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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