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Mar 15 2013

Another conservative switches teams on marriage equality

It’s funny how knowing someone affected by your laws and traditions, and your bigoted prejudicial medieval mindset, makes all the difference eh? Sen. Rob Portmam (R-OH) found out recently he had a son that was affected. And boy howdy did the Senator’s former ‘heartfelt moral principles’ fall faster in the face of that familial reality than the walls at Jericho cleaved and tumbled — we are told — when blown by the mighty horn of God-eh:

NBC — “It allowed me to think of this from a new perspective, and that’s of a dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have – to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years,” Portman told reporters during that interview

.Portman’s changed stance comes amid spreading support for same-sex marriage. Forty-eight percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage in 2012, up from 35 percent a decade ago, according to a Pew Research Center analysis from Dec. 2012.

Arguments challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, which Portman voted for in 1996, are due to be heard before the Supreme Court later this month.

Well, I guess it’s a good thing over all, and to Poprtman’s credit he did this while he is still, in office. A refreshing turn of events. . But goddamit, you shouldn’t have to know a Jew or an intellectual to know the Inquisition or the Holocaust was wrong. You shouldn’t have to know a black person to form an opinion on lynching, Jim Crowe, or the KKK.

And you shouldn’t have to know a gay or lesbian or transgendered person, much less have one in your family, to know they’ve been systemically discriminated, reviled, scapegoated, tortured, and killed in the most inhuman ways imaginable, for at least centuries if not longer, and for reasons no one can ever seem to enumerate despite trying to come up with a list of same for about the same length of time.

16 comments

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  1. 1
    Didaktylos

    What this shows is that this guy is only a minion of the oligarchs – an actual oligarch would manage to provide his nepots with a place in a privileged enclave.

  2. 2
    ahcuah

    Shorter description: Conservatives have no empathy.

  3. 3
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    My take, this is one repub who can actually read and comprehend polling data.

  4. 4
    pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile

    the teabaggers will now begin screaming and frothing, in various contorted forms, that this man dared to act upon his (perhaps) conscientious objection to his previously-held position. if there is one thing the Tinfoil Hat Brigade detests, it’s people not following their demands to the letter.

  5. 5
    AsqJames

    My take, this is one repub who can actually read and comprehend polling data.

    Yeah, that struck me too. His son told him he was gay 2 years ago. The trend towards more widespread acceptance of LGBT equality in the wider population was already well apparent at that time, but the aggregate of polls probably still had it as a minority view. And certainly among registered Republicans (even more so on the very active Christian Right), so he’d have been opening himself up to a Tea Party/evangelical primary challenge.

    His new position is the right one and his support should be welcomed, but his motivation is selfish and the timing shows he’s even willing to vote and campaign on issues which will adversely affect his own son…until not doing so is no longer a major threat to his own career.

  6. 6
    scenario

    I think that he always supported gay marriage or didn’t care either way but had to toe the line if he wanted to get elected as a Republican. When the polls changed and his son came out, he had an excuse to change sides that his electorate might support.

  7. 7
    dobby

    Meanwhile, Marco Rubio thinks he is not a bigot. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/marco-rubio-bigot-article-1.1288647

  8. 8
    Brandon

    But goddamit, you shouldn’t have to know [groups to empathize]

    While I agree in principal, the objective reality is that people’s bigotry almost always softens when they meet someone from an Other group and find out that they’re not actually so evil. In the case of gays and atheists, this often comes in the form of finding out that someone you already love and care about is in this group that you previously found so repellant; it forces a rethinking of the whole thing.

    Is that frustrating? Hell yes it is. Nonetheless, it remains the strongest reminder of how important people being out of closets is, given how potent of an effect it has on people’s views.

  9. 9
    Randomfactor

    My take, this is one repub who can actually read and comprehend polling data.

    Yep. Wants to be on the winning side. Wonder if a preliminary vote from SCOTUS has leaked out.

  10. 10
    faehnrich

    According to my politician friend, last month 100 Republicans signed a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA. Portman wasn’t one of them. So we’ll see if he really supports marriage equality.

  11. 11
    trucreep

    I see little difference between this and the President’s “evolving” view.

  12. 12
    naturalcynic

    I see little difference between this and the President’s “evolving” view.

    I think that you miss a few nuances. Portman came out ostensibly as a result of his son’s admission and the obvious consequences of his previous political choices – it was primarily personal. Obama seems to have have changed his view as a result of more political factors – Biden’s outright support of gay marriage and changing polls. It goes in line with how views are constructed by many highly political liberals and conservatives. Empathy for a liberal seems to be more of a universal trait while conservatives only show true empathy when they are personally involved

  13. 13
    trucreep

    As of late I’ve been feeling more like both sides only show empathy when they are personally involved, just conservatives are more open about it.

    The President said that his views changing had a lot to do with friends and colleagues of his and knowing gay people. While that probably is true, everyone knows his public stance changed when he was basically forced (politically) to back up the Vice President or to contradict what he said. I doubt he actually had that big of a problem with the issue in the first place.

    Just like Senator Portman was influenced by his son, but is only saying something now because it’s politically necessary/convenient. Honestly, when you look at most people that have similar attitudes as Portman had, and their children tell them they’re gay, I say good for him for showing he loves his son.

    And honestly, this is really how people change their minds when it comes to divisive issues like this. I’m not saying that’s right, but I think everyone has changed their mind towards something because of someone they knew, it’s a good way to get perspective you’d otherwise not get.

  14. 14
    steve84

    Well, he is a state’s rights moron. If a state bans same-sex marriage, he would be perfectly fine with it.

    And I agree that that he shows a disturbing lack of empathy. If he doesn’t care about this unless it affects him directly, what else doesn’t he give a shit about because it’s about other people?

  15. 15
    steve84

    Oh, and he thinks that this is something for legislatures to decide and not for the courts. That’s not exactly overwhelming or convincing support. What he does is the minimum you’d expect from a decent person. Yeah it’s more than most Republicans are capable of, but making some kind of hero out of him is an overreaction.

  16. 16
    Eristae

    Well, I guess it’s a good thing over all, and to Poprtman’s credit he did this while he is still, in office. A refreshing turn of events. But goddamit, you shouldn’t have to know a Jew or an intellectual to know the Inquisition or the Holocaust was wrong. You shouldn’t have to know a black person to form an opinion on lynching, Jim Crowe, or the KKK.

    This is exactly what I thought when I read the article~!

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