Washington (CNN)Rand Paul isn't endorsing same-sex marriage, but said Sunday that "people ought to be treated fairly under the law."
Rand Paul on gay marriage: 'People ought to be treated fairly'
The Kentucky Republican senator who launched his 2016 presidential campaign this week talked about the semantics of marriage equality in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."
He said the decision on whether to allow same-sex marriage should be left to the states, and that he believes in "the traditional religious connotation" to marriage -- which religious conservatives believe should be reserved for one man and one woman.
"I also believe people ought to be treated fairly under the law," he said
"And you probably could have both," he said. "You could have both traditional marriage, which I believe in. And then you could also have the neutrality of the law that allows people to have contracts with another."
The issue could be a key one for Paul -- whose libertarian tendencies put him in stark contrast to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and could attract younger voters who are turned off by the GOP's socially conservative tendencies -- in the 2016 race.
Paul said he's a "leave me alone kind of guy."
He's also called for a less interventionist foreign policy than other leaders of both parties, and said Sunday that he'd like any increases in defense spending to be offset in cuts to domestic programs.
"I do believe people ought to be left alone," Paul said. "I don't care who you are or what you do at home or who your friends are or what, you know, where you hang out, what kind of music you listen to, what you do in your home is your own business. That's always been who I am."