The head of the conservative Family Research Council on Sunday chided Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for a comment he made Friday about President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage.
Paul, speaking to an event sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition on Friday, said, "call me cynical, but I wasn't sure that his views on marriage could get any gayer."
The remark drew laughter from the audience.
But Tony Perkins, speaking Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation," said the issue is not a "laughing matter."
"I don't think this is something we should joke about," Perkins said. "We are talking about individuals who feel very strongly one way or the other, and I think we should be civil, respectful, allowing all sides to have the debate. ... It's not something to poke fun at other people about. This is a very serious issue."
Paul, who is the son of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, went on to say at the Friday event that the president's use of the Bible to justify his position concerned him.
"It did kind of bother me though that he used the justification for it in a biblical reference," Paul said. "He said the biblical golden rule caused him to be for gay marriage. And I'm like what version of the Bible is he reading?
"Now that doesn't mean we need to be harsh and mean and hate people.... But that doesn't mean that we have to go ahead and give up our traditions. We've got 6,000 years of tradition."
NewsCore contributed to this report.