Skip to comments.Sen. Rob Portman: Iíve 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.
FReeper Cripplecreek: I haven’t.
FReeper SOTC: Ive changed my mind and I NO LONGER support Sen. Rob Portman now
This is a typical example of a person that does not have the courage of his/her convictions. No principles and should be removed from office.
And to think that Mitt Romney had him on his short list for VP...
Wonderful. The sellout “leadership” of the GOP-e got to him.
I’ll bet he also supports amnesty for illegals . . . . . . . . and murderers . . . . . . . . . and crooked politicians!!
One of my cousins is a lesbian and my uncle still opposes gay marriage. She’s still his daughter and they have a close relationship but his principles are firm.
Another rotten-ass turncoat in the Republican Party. Inexcusable! First of all, I wouldnt want to admit to the world that my son was a homosexual. Second, I wouldnt want to admit that I soul-searched the Bible and was unable to find the very explicit condemnation of homosexual behavior.
This man is disgusting to jump ship and approve of degenerate behavior just because his son is a sicko. Has his son been counseled to get help? Of course not . . . because homosexuality has so much to offer . . . an average lifespan of 39-41 years of age.
Our lousy governor now embraces Obambicare, and now this corrupt politician is endorsing the whole homosexual disgusting life-style.
Once again, Ohio loses.
the author identifys only the mouldy wing of republicans. country clubbers who have overstayed their welcome
Well, I guess its a good thing he wasn’t in the oval office.
Geez, what an unprincipled jelly-spine...
One in-house sob story and the guy flips like the King of Hearts ‘n’ skewers himself in the bean with the sword of capitulation.
I know a few people who are gay, yet they all know I do not approve. Neither do I approve of fornication and shacking up.
In fact, those who do so, know not to ask my opinion on their situation. I will gladly tell them.
No, I am not perfect. I am a sinner. We all are. I ask for God to love me, and help me get better. Not love me and let me be sick.
.... can say no!!!!
I just wonder, how does one react when a son or daughter tells you that he/she is gay...
What is the proper response...
I read the title of the article and refuse to read the article itself. I can only guess, Portman is up for re-election in 2014 and he’s phishing for votes. Well, he lost my vote.
For the low low price of just 50k, I will also change my mind and support gay marriage. LBGT I accept bank checks or money orders.
I wonder how much Sen. Rob Portman got. I bet it was more than 50k~!
If one of Portman’s sons came bragging to him that he cheated on his wife with a stripper, would Portman “fully support” that son’s lifestyle as well? Would he go on TV and say he had changed his mind on adultery?
Well, hopefully the gays will support you and the GOP, because I won’t, Mr. Portman.
Portman is admitting HE LIED to his supporters.
Portman is a liar by his own admission.
changed mind and support gay marriage = someone has photos
“Geez, what an unprincipled jelly-spine...”
Will someone from Ohio please tell the rest of us what’s wrong with the people there? I mean you’ve “given” us Boner, and now this asshat! Ohio needs to man up and give us another Ted Cruz, not these weepy limp dicks. And don’t get me going on your “governor.” He’s a disgrace too!
My nephew’s auntie on his dad’s side of the family was a lesbian. Her companion even had a sex change operation.
Later auntie meets a man at work and falls in love. She is no longer a lesbian.
This is the kind of thing that puts a lie to the expression, “born this way”. People make choices in their lives, and choosing to be sexually promiscuous, as the majority of male homosexuals are, results in a miserable life.
You asked about the proper response. Well, no one was negative to auntie. All of her family just wanted her to be happy. She had to find out for herself and in truth, no one can do that for antoher. It has to come from inside.
If they’re “born this way”, why do they have to recruit?
Down the line, this man, like Specter, Chafee, etc., will say “I am no longer a republican. The party has moved away from me.”
He can be removed from office in 2016.
He thinks it’s politically advantageous to him at present; IMO. (He’d just as well hang it up.)
The proper response? Kids do things parents do not approve of. You tell them you love them but you disapprove of what they are doing/have done.
You may want to elaborate on the harm or danger the behavior may lead to and set simple rules of what you will not tolerate in your presence.
Simple and effective! My mom handled me like this when she discovered my boyfriend getting breakfast in my college apt wearing only his shorts. :p
I'm surprised Kirk hasn't "evolved" on this issue yet. If anything is "inevitable", it's Kirk becoming pro-gay marriage. I'm sure he WANTS to and will do so sometime during his Senate term. He'd bask in all the fawning coverage he'd get from the MSM for being such a wise, forward-thinking sensible Republican standing up to those antiquated right-wing neanderthals. The RINO combiner twerp would be the toast of the town for a week and he'd love every minute of it.
He's probably waiting around for an opportune time when it would inflict the MAXIMUM damage possible on the GOP.
>> Susan Collins seems like a given. Murkowski can probably get away with it in Alaska <<
They probably want to "evolve" too, but Collins is likely headed for retirement like her twin Olympia Snowe, and Murkowski could survive but she'll never be the GOP nominee again (and wasn't last time around), so she'll likely run as a Dem when she "evolves" on this issue.
well I haven;t and will never so when these pro feces libertarians and liberals tell us we should accept it then they can go and take a flying jump off a bridge.
Portman is another elitist and let the voters know this and where he stands about what should be taught in the schools, what marriage is, who should marry them etc
Hey no big deal. Plenty of Freepers say we need to back the electable ‘conservative’. And principle doesn’t matter.
So lets just moderate a little more. This week we can accept gay marriage. Next week we can back off on amnesty. Next month we can get jiggy wit’ the whole abortion thing and by 14 we’ll lose...as Democrats.
my wife calls it the CA midwest
The response would be the same as it is whenever a kid does something wrong. What...are we in a culture where these parents are now amazed that kids do wrong stuff? sheesh...wierd.
Yes :( Ohioans already voted on this and amended their constitution to protect marriage between one man and one woman. I'm so sick of these politicians who refuse to represent the will of those who elected them to office and whose taxes pay their salaries and benefits. Portman was elected to represent the conservative voters who put him in power, not to advance policy based on family matters.
Now that Kasich and Portman have waffled, who's left standing representing conservative Ohio voters?
I like your “pro feces” description. Waiting for someone to say publicly “gay men enjoy a shitty sex life”.
imagine that a son comes home and tells you he;s a homosexuals that in essence he;s like and gets turned on by having sex with asss where feces comes out and what an ass is supposed to be used for
so true though, the only difference is that these men get turned on by having anal sex with feces.
sorry but that to me is just sick, plain sick,
Sen. Rob Portman: Ive changed my mind and support gay marriage now
As the wind blows, so blows gay congressman.
His internal polls are telling him he won’t get reelected again if he doesn’t capitulate.
And we still have, don't forget, that idiot turncoat Boehner huggy-kissing Obambi at every turn.
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...