Limbaugh on gay marriage: 'The issue is lost'

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Limbaugh said that conservatives first lost the battle on a semantic front, "allowing the word ‘marriage’ to be bastardized and redefined by simply adding words to it.”

“Marriage is one thing, and it was not established on the basis of discrimination,” Limbaugh said. “It wasn’t established on the basis of denying people anything. ‘Marriage’ is not a tradition that a bunch of people concocted to be mean to other people with. But we allowed the left to have people believe that it was structured that way."

Limbaugh is not the first prominent conservative commentator to concede the fight over gay marriage. On Tuesday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said "the compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals."

"That’s where the compelling argument is," he continued. " ‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”

Still, other prominent conservatives have warned there could be dire consequences for the GOP if the party abandons its stance against gay marriage. On Wednesday, former presidential candidate and radio host Mike Huckabee said the Republican Party risks alienating its base if it comes to support gay marriage.

“They might. And if they do, they’re going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk,” Huckabee told Newsmax.

“And it’s not because there’s an anti-homosexual mood, and nobody’s homophobic that I know of, but many of us, and I consider myself included, base our standards not on the latest Washington Post poll, but on an objective standard, not a subjective standard."