Skip to comments.Sen. Rob Portman: I’ve changed my mind and support gay marriage now
Posted on 03/15/2013 10:54:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Interesting for many reasons. Timing: He's dropping this during CPAC, when political media is focused on competing factions within conservative thought, and shortly before the Supreme Court takes up a landmark case on Prop 8 and DOMA. Enthusiasm: He didn't casually mention this during a standard Q&A with a reporter. He called three Ohio journalists to his office for the announcement, granted CNN an on-camera interview, and published an op-ed in today's Columbus Dispatch. He’s really throwing some weight behind it. Prominence: Portman was, of course, a shortlister for VP and is the lone GOP senator from America's ultimate swing state. More than that, he's the first sitting Republican member of the Senate to endorse legalizing same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court amicus brief filed by pro-gay-marriage Republicans a few weeks ago was conspicuous for its lack of any big-name incumbents as signatories. Portman's a big name.
Why'd he switch? Like Dick Cheney, whom Portman met with to discuss this, his view changed when he found out someone in his family is gay:
Portman said his own evolution on the issue began in 2011, when [his son] Will, then a freshman at Yale University, made a stunning revelation.
Will … came to Jane and me and announced that he was gay, that it was not a choice. It was who he is and he had been that way since he could remember, Portman recalled of the conversation. Jane and I were both surprised, very surprised, but also very supportive of him. Our reaction was not about policy or positions. It was about him as a son and letting him know we were 110 percent supportive of him.
His sons homosexuality allowed me to think about this issue from a new perspective, and thats as a dad who loves his son a lot, Portman said. He said he wants Will to have the same chance at an enduring relationship, like Jane and I have had for over 26 years.…
Portman said his previous views on marriage were rooted in his faith.
But the overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible . . . and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker . . . that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue, he said.
He says he told the Romney camp about his son last year when he was vetted for VP and that they told him it was no problem. Imagine, though, putting Portman on the ticket and then having news break that the vice presidential nominee, who once voted for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, has a gay son. The media’s coverage of Portman for the rest of the campaign would have been filtered through the issue of SSM and Romney surely knew it. Is that something he would have wanted given his intense messaging emphasis on the economy?
Mollie Hemingway makes a fair point, too:
Leaving apart the question of whether marriage law should be changed, this strikes me as a problematic approach. I mean, marriage law should be changed or it shouldn’t be changed — but it shouldn’t hinge on the sexual attractions of one senator’s son, should it?
What if a conservative senator said, “I’m reversing my views on whether abortion should be legal because my daughter got pregnant and wished she weren’t.”
One of the fascinating things about society today is that personal experience trumps everything else in argumentation. Very few people seem to care about fundamental truths and principles while everyone seems to care about personal experience and emotion. It’s the Oprahfication of political philosophy.
Yeah, I’m loath to scold the guy for his reasoning given that I agree with him and that he’s taking on a bit of political risk in doing this, but why did he need his son to come out to get him to look at this issue from the perspective of someone who’s gay? He’s been a professional legislator for years; he’s supposed to consider all sides of an issue when deciding which policy to support. That’s a surprisingly parochial approach to a national debate that’s been rolling around for a solid decade now. Makes me wonder if his feelings on the subject really did change recently or if he’s always quietly been open to gay marriage but only felt politically safe to announce it once he discovered his son’s orientation. Conservative primary voters may be less likely to hold it against him if they think it’s a decision driven by fatherly love for his son.
Anyway, who’s next? The real significance of Portman endorsing SSM is that it gives political cover to other GOP incumbents who might secretly agree with him to speak up too. Republicans from solidly red states will remain opposed but there are plenty of purple-state possibilities. Susan Collins seems like a given. Murkowski can probably get away with it in Alaska. Mark Kirk would pay no heavy penalty in Illinois. Maybe Kelly Ayotte too, or do her national ambitions prevent that (for now)? There’ll be more.
People need to recall these liberals wherever possible and make their political existence hell where they can’t.
As long as we the voters just ‘take it’ we are going to get more of it. Yes, it’s going to result in some bad outcomes in the SHORT term. That’s reality. But this is a LONG term fight and we collectively best get to fighting it. And war isn’t pretty.
But as long as we have conservatives that believe in unicorns and magic bullet solutions, we go nowhere but down.
Portman talks like a gay blade himself.
Oh, don’t remind me! I’m struggling to think of a solid conservative voice for Ohio. Seriously, can you think of one? Have any called out Kasich for expanding Medicaid or Portman for his flip flop on gay marriage?
The same thing that is wrong with the rest of the nation. Too many buy the rhetoric of Republicans pretending to be conservative.
Given how brazenly Portman has stabbed voters in the back and what a lightening-rod issue this is, I doubt he'd survive a primary today. He's hoping, though, the Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage a right and voters will forget the issue by 2016 when he is up for reelection. But, I won't forget.
I’m pretty sure there’s no recall option in Ohio. I’ve never been a big fan of them but maybe I’ll have to flipflop my position.
I doubt seriously if any such poll exists in Ohio. Ohio is socially conservative state.
More likely, Portman is a RINO that has been in Washington DC so long that looking to move the party to the left on the issue nationally.
Just remember that you’ll have a pack of psuedoCons telling you that you MUST reelect him. And calling you a traitor to America if you don’t.
Because the dem running against him will back gay marriage...oh wait...
That’s where the ‘make their political life hell’ thing comes in ;)
So if his son had stolen from a charity, cheated on his wife, failed to pay taxes, sold confidential information to foreign nations, got busted for DUI, or jumped a subway turnstyle, what sort of reaction could we have expected from Portman?
We ain't got one. Right down the line, they all turned on us: LaTourette, Kasich, Portman, Boehner.
What is the proper response...
First of all, he didn't turn "gay." He's become a homosexual . . . period. "Gay" means happy, and if he thinks that the homosexual lifestyle will make him happy, he's got another thing comming: alcoholism, STDs, gay men's bowel syndrome, AIDs, suicide, violence, more than likely a lifespan of 39-41 years tops, etc.
I would encourage such a child to go back to church, get counseling from his priest or reverend, pray, and hope that Christ will lead him out of such a horrible lifestyle.
That's a hell of a lot better advice than to be an enabler. Portman should be ashamed of himself.
I have always had my children's safety in focus when I outlined things to beware of.. Don't touch a hot stove, or anything on the burners, do not cross the street without looking both ways, do get in any cars with strangers, stay away from drugs, and liquor, and stay away from any lifestyle that is unhealthy, which includes the Gay lifestyle in particular, among many others..
It is my responsibility to lead my kids in the right direction, these just make common sense..
Get rid of this embarrassment, Ohio. Sheesh. Good thing his offspring isn’t a transvestite or Rob would start wearing a dress.
Portman really ticks me off because he was a DOMA co sponsor, wasn’t he? I respect him for loving his son. I disrespect him for betraying those he was elected to serve in the name of showing love for his son and others like him. If you have to break a pledge to millions of people to show support for someone, it ain’t love. It’s corruption.
My Ohio relatives who voted for him will be p*ssed.
>>>One of my cousins is a lesbian and my uncle still opposes gay marriage. Shes still his daughter and they have a close relationship but his principles are firm.>>>
That’s leads to exactly what I wanted to say. Why couldn’t Portman say that he’s close to his son although he still disagrees with SSM?
I hear ya! I need to give this recall thing more thought and I’m glad you brought it up, thanks.
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