Sen. Rob Portman says he now supports same-sex marriage because one of his sons is gay.

The Ohio Republican informed reporters from several newspapers in his home state of his reversal, which The Columbus Dispatch calls "stunning."

Portman told The Cincinnati Enquirer his evolution on the subject began in 2011 when his son, Will, then a freshman at Yale University, told his parents he was gay.

Portman told the Enquirer his new views reflect "a change of heart from the position of a father" and that he first talked to his pastor and others, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter is a lesbian.

As a member of the House in 1996, Portman co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments on a challenge to DOMA next week.

"Like former President Bill Clinton, who signed the law," the Dispatch says, "Portman now wants the high court to invalidate the law's declaration that marriage is between a man and a woman. Instead, Portman said he would prefer that it be left to the states to decide the definition of marriage."

Read the rest here.


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It's so stinking predictable.  Right-wing GOP officeholder is UTTERLY opposed to progressive idea ... until he is personally immersed in it.  At least Portman has had the guts to come out and publicly express his change of heart while in office.  Dick Cheney was in a similar position with his publicly Lesbian daughter, but couldn't be bothered to make a statement supporting her until AFTER he vacated the vice-presidency.

This to me is one of the scariest facets of the republican party.  With very few exceptions, they march in lockstep, all signing on to the party dogma platform, and unwilling to break from it ... unless some issue hits so close to home that they cannot ignore their personal involvement.

When, when, WHEN will republicans be willing to Think For Themselves?

Tags: Ohio, Rob Portman, gay marriage

Views: 148

Replies to This Discussion

Shows the importance of being out.

At work I think there is more LGBT support because people know me.

At prior workplace it was a toxic work environment so that doesn't always help.  So it doesn't always help.  But when people know you for who you are, and learn your experiences and contributions, but still you are LGBT, they can be so accepting and supportive.

Phyllis Shlafly has a gay son but she is still a harridan.  And I read her son is a chip of the old block - just happens to be a gay chip off the old block.

If a republican thinks for themself do they remain a republican?  Bad stereotype on my part - there are some thoughtful conservatives.  But hard to find in the current er a of teaparty and Rovian politics of Macchiavelian opportunitism.

This article about Portman got me thinking about several other "conservative" positions I've been exposed to in recent years. As an example, one true believing, card carrying 'Merican member of the GOP was telling me how there should be a law forcing every school child to say the pledge of allegiance. My response was was, "Oh, so the conservative position is to force certain people to do something against their will and their conscience to prove to them how free they are." He got pissed and walked off.

The issue of gay marriage strikes me as just one facet of a broader position taken by the right wing. While they loudly scream freedom, and rail against purported government interference in their lives, the fact is most positions taken by the right wing are antithetical to those propositions. It's really about conformity and bending peoples wills to agree with them. Portman was more than willing to do that until, in the words of Malcolm X, "The chickens came home to roost." Even then, as SB pointed out with Phyllis Shlafly, that doesn't even wake some of them up to their cognitive dissonance.

For most of them, it's ideology first, public patriotism (jingoism) second, party third, and individual rights and freedom are somewhere down the list next to the reminder to get gas and pick up milk at the grocery store.

And your statement reminds me yet again of that great scion of thoughtless conservatism, last seen at a MASH unit near Wijambu, South Korea:

Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free.
-- Major Frank Burns, 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

Loren you have the most incredible memory.  You never cease to amaze me.  I'm awestruck.  Or is it awestricken?  Perfect quotation.

I just remember that the quote existed (I've used it several times here on A|N), and Frank Burns' knee-jerk jingoism always left a bad taste in my mouth.  It only took a little Googling to come up with the exact quote, in this case from IMDB.com.

Pat,

The conservative position seems to be that individual freedom is sacred, except when it comes to individuality.  Oh, and corporations, being and made up of multitudes of individuals, and controlled by individuals who garner the profits, trump individual individuals because some individuals are more individual than others.  Oh, and religions, especially protestantism, especially fundamentalis offshoots who pick and choose what they want out of the 100% true bible, but also catholic potentates who answer to the big and powerful fictional individual whose rights trump the minions of individual individuals, those override the individual real blood people too.

Except with guns.  Every individual needs a gun.  That way they can protect their wimminfolk from abortionists and those black govt helicopters.

The conservative position seems to be that individual freedom is sacred, except when it comes to individuality. Ain't that the damned truth!!

In spades, Pat.  They want people to conform to a nice, safe, stereotypical norm that they can deal with.  Anything outside that is foreign and therefore dangerous.  It's like they want to go back to the 50's Donna Reed / Leave It To Beaver paradigm when they SHOULD know that they CAN'T.

Sad, really.

Loren, I was just watching Santorum and John McCain on the evening news. All I could think of was your reference to Leave It To Beaver, and in the context of those two, his famous statement to his older brother, "That's really creepy, Wally."

First of all, I'm always grateful for the opportunity to learn something new on this website.  Sentient, I had to look up the word 'harridan.'  I don't think I would have been quite so subdued in my description of Ms. Shlafly, but you certainly hit the nail on the head. 

Loren, you ask a pertinent question:  "When, when, WHEN will republicans be willing to Think For Themselves?"  You're absolutely right.  They dismiss and marginalize others until it affects them personally.  But I would also ask:  when will the republicans be willing to think of others as well?  These conservative republicans express a total lack of empathy and humane compassion toward anyone 'different.'  And that's their party platform.  This, I believe, is the republican party's biggest downfall.  They are narrow minded to the extreme and selfishly concerned only with people who mirror themselves.  And then they pontificate as to why they cannot attract minorities or retain a varied, vibrant party.  Unless they change their exclusionary platform to be more inclusive they, like dogmatic religion, will continue to become increasingly irrelevant in our modern society.  

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