The Federal Prop. 8 Trial / Gay Marriage Catch-All

Some local-ish news today:

Senator Rob Portman, R OH, now favors gay marriage.

Turns out, his son is gay. Good on him for not letting rhetoric stifle the importance of his family to him, and making that into something relevant to the nation at large.

Seth wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundame...

The twisted logic that everyone else has a 'wicked nature' but I only 'make mistakes'

The famous only moral abortion is my abortion argument follows this as well.

I think that poverty is in this category as well, and helps explain why people vote against their best interests. "I'm going through a hard time right now, but all the other poor people are dumb and lazy and deserve their poverty."

NSMike wrote:
Some local-ish news today:

Senator Rob Portman, R OH, now favors gay marriage.

Turns out, his son is gay. Good on him for not letting rhetoric stifle the importance of his family to him, and making that into something relevant to the nation at large.

Or shame on him for only being ok with it after finding out it affects his son. Everyone else's son... f*** them. My son... he must have rights!

Demosthenes wrote:
NSMike wrote:
Some local-ish news today:

Senator Rob Portman, R OH, now favors gay marriage.

Turns out, his son is gay. Good on him for not letting rhetoric stifle the importance of his family to him, and making that into something relevant to the nation at large.

Or shame on him for only being ok with it after finding out it affects his son. Everyone else's son... f*** them. My son... he must have rights!

Well, again, this goes back to my point (the one Cheeze summed up really well): when it's "other people", it's easy to demonize. And, to be completely honest, history has shown us again and again that sometimes the only way someone's mind will be changed is when a category of people are no longer "others". It's an eye-opening experience, and not one that everyone takes to. There are plenty of people who, in his shoes, would have just demonized his own son, sent him to gay therapy, or whatever else. There's something to be said for having that crossroads moment and taking a more enlightened path.

Bloo Driver wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:
NSMike wrote:
Some local-ish news today:

Senator Rob Portman, R OH, now favors gay marriage.

Turns out, his son is gay. Good on him for not letting rhetoric stifle the importance of his family to him, and making that into something relevant to the nation at large.

Or shame on him for only being ok with it after finding out it affects his son. Everyone else's son... f*** them. My son... he must have rights!

Well, again, this goes back to my point (the one Cheeze summed up really well): when it's "other people", it's easy to demonize. And, to be completely honest, history has shown us again and again that sometimes the only way someone's mind will be changed is when a category of people are no longer "others". It's an eye-opening experience, and not one that everyone takes to. There are plenty of people who, in his shoes, would have just demonized his own son, sent him to gay therapy, or whatever else. There's something to be said for having that crossroads moment and taking a more enlightened path.

I guess... still just annoys me that people act like that. We're all people, figuring out that we should all be treating everyone how we'd like to be treated should not be that hard.

Ideally, yes, Demosthenes, someone would think and change their minds on their own. But I'm hesitant to call anyone out for changing their minds for less-than-ideal reasons.

Bloo Driver wrote:
There's something to be said for having that crossroads moment and taking a more enlightened path.

Yes, but that doesn't mean he's still not a contemptible asshole. I mean this guy voted to prohibit gays from adopting children.

It's very telling that in the op-ed that explains his change of mind there's not anything that could remotely be considered an apology to same-sex couples.

A big man would have used the words to the extent of "I was wrong and I am sorry that I have spent the last 20 years demonizing millions of Americans just like my son and actively denying them basic human rights."

OG_slinger wrote:

A big man who has zero interest in re-election would have used the words to the extent of "I was wrong and I am sorry that I have spent the last 20 years demonizing millions of Americans just like my son and actively denying them basic human rights."

Not saying you're not right, just that context is important.

Honest question, if prostrating himself on the altar of apology would more likely result in his replacement with a Republican with a harder-line stance on LGBT issues, shouldn't we be pleased that he's minimizing the political fallout from his change of heart so he can continue to influence the direction of the larger right-wing movement from within?

OG_slinger wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:
There's something to be said for having that crossroads moment and taking a more enlightened path.

Yes, but that doesn't mean he's still not a contemptible asshole. I mean this guy voted to prohibit gays from adopting children.

It's very telling that in the op-ed that explains his change of mind there's not anything that could remotely be considered an apology to same-sex couples.

A big man would have used the words to the extent of "I was wrong and I am sorry that I have spent the last 20 years demonizing millions of Americans just like my son and actively denying them basic human rights."

Kind of my thought too OG. I get what Mike and Bloo are saying, and I kind of agree... then I read this in his op ed you linked...

Jerk of a Father Still, APparently wrote:
Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay.

Emphasis mine, he announced this this week... so for two years that his son has been openly gay with him, he's continued to take these stances? Anyone got good quotes of him on this topic for the last two years? Was Portman up for reelection this past year?

Oi, let's not misunderstand me, here. I'm not saying he's a great man who should be anoited "humanitarian". I'm just saying the how of how he came to this particular decision is valid enough in my eyes.

Every crack helps in bringing down the wall, regardless of how it got there.

Demosthenes wrote:
Jerk of a Father Still, APparently wrote:
Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay.

Emphasis mine, he announced this this week... so for two years that his son has been openly gay with him, he's continued to take these stances? Anyone got good quotes of him on this topic for the last two years? Was Portman up for reelection this past year?

Sometimes, it takes time to come around on these things. Many coming out stories revolve around parents and family who aren't supportive initially but who, over time, come to change their minds about LGBT issues. It's okay for Senator Portman to have not had an epiphany when he son came out but to have evolved his views and changed his mind over the course of a couple years.

Jonman wrote:
Honest question, if prostrating himself on the altar of apology would more likely result in his replacement with a Republican with a harder-line stance on LGBT issues, shouldn't we be pleased that he's minimizing the political fallout from his change of heart so he can continue to influence the direction of the larger right-wing movement from within?

Take a look at the ongoing kerfuffle about gays that's happening at CPAC. Social conservatives--the base of the right-wing--aren't going to change their tune about gays and same sex marriage anytime soon. Probably never considering their demographics. They've essentially drawn a line in the sand and said that being in the GOP means being against gay marriage and if that changes they'll break away from the party.

I want that to happen. And the sooner the better. That's because it would turn social conservatives into a party of concentrated craziness and bigotry that wouldn't be capable of winning national elections and force the remaining bits of the GOP to adopt much more moderate positions for, well, everything if they ever hoped to hold political power again.

Yeah, I think this is actually a really big deal; the GOP has in recent years demanded its members to follow the party line in lockstep, and they've been effectively chained to a very conservative social agenda, and having one senator break that wall means others will follow. So he didn't come out in favor of equality in a perfect way. He still came out in favor of equality, and that's a very significant step for somebody in the Republican party.

Demosthenes wrote:
NSMike wrote:
Some local-ish news today:

Senator Rob Portman, R OH, now favors gay marriage.

Turns out, his son is gay. Good on him for not letting rhetoric stifle the importance of his family to him, and making that into something relevant to the nation at large.

Or shame on him for only being ok with it after finding out it affects his son. Everyone else's son... f*** them. My son... he must have rights!

Well... he is a Senator.

The past is past. He can't go back and change those events, regardless of whether he wants to or not. The only thing he can do is act now, and if his current actions are good, then that's the best it can be.

Slate has a piece on this. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but the "Oh, Now if Effects Me" change of heart is annoying.

OG_slinger wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:
There's something to be said for having that crossroads moment and taking a more enlightened path.

Yes, but that doesn't mean he's still not a contemptible asshole. I mean this guy voted to prohibit gays from adopting children.

It's very telling that in the op-ed that explains his change of mind there's not anything that could remotely be considered an apology to same-sex couples.

A big man would have used the words to the extent of "I was wrong and I am sorry that I have spent the last 20 years demonizing millions of Americans just like my son and actively denying them basic human rights."

While I agree with the sentiment completely, he's breaking with most of his party, and to go that one step further, he'd essentially be pointing around, and would say your quote above, plus, "Unlike these guys who still are evil bastards."

I actually think it's helpful, not hurtful, for him to be providing a path that other Republicans in Congress/Senate can take. A non-bridge-burning path. A "this is part of my Christian faith, which by the way has some stuff about love in there somewhere...", "I've given this a lot of thought", "Family values includes my son who I support no matter what." type message. And I'm glad he can't in turn be called out by his fellow senators for his decisions, because...tah dah...they cannot really argue with his reasons, which are phrased from their perspective, which resonate with their message. This may create a path more of them can take as they wake up and smell the equality.

I'm not sure of the exact statistic, but Americans are something like ~25-30% more likely to support marriage equality if they know somebody who's LGBT. So his son is gay. And now the fundamentalist "Gay people are going to hell" crowd, who have representation in the senate, are put in the position of telling him, "Yes, your son is going to hell, too."

And that, I'd like to see.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Slate has a piece on this. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but the "Oh, Now if Effects Me" change of heart is annoying.

Good article. There's an amazing lack on empathy held by our elected officials. It's only a big deal when it affects them, but they're supposed to be making decisions for everyone.

This is making the rounds. <3.

IMAGE(http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/dM_p.jCgBqoK4Yn0qFZiSg--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NQ--/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/lifestyles/2013-03-15/cb3aa9d7-9259-448d-aae7-72ec6aa04b08_576238_519362561435777_686684187_n.jpg)

link to story of dad dropping the mic on parenting

Probably shoulda used the "preview comment" before hitting edit 4 times to fix a damn url tag. . .

People at large don't make decisions in the interests of others. They make decisions that serve their own interests, and when it's called out as selfish bigotry, they justify it by fitting it into their worldview (see: Christians who proclaim their efforts against gay people are for gays' own good b/c afterlife, damnation, etc.).

I have people in my family who, I'm sure, are still taking their time to come around to the idea of me being gay. These are thoughts that, had I never come out, they probably would NEVER have dealt with. Because it never affected them personally.

I'm not saying we should venerate this senator. I'm saying he shouldn't be sacrificed on the altar of, "You weren't good enough," because he came to this realization in a less-than-ideal way, and over a length of time. Because it's annoying that he's an elected official and had to be personally affected by it before he could see how it affects his constituency. Changes like this happen this way. The change perhaps shouldn't be celebrated, but it at least deserves a firm nod of acknowledgement.

"Rob Portman, I now have one less reason not to vote for you. Good on ya."

CPAC Attendees Blast GOP Senator Who Announced Support For Marriage Equality (ThinkProgress)

A pastor from Georgia, William Temple, told Portman to “quit being so selfish as to only think about his son,”

So classy.

Hypatian wrote:
CPAC Attendees Blast GOP Senator Who Announced Support For Marriage Equality (ThinkProgress)

A pastor from Georgia, William Temple, told Portman to “quit being so selfish as to only think about his son,”

So classy.

Well, it's logically consistent, and mashes pretty well with the criticisms he's been getting here.

Over here people are upset that he belatedly made the correct choice for selfish reasons. At CPAC people are upset that he made the wrong choice for selfish reasons.

Really the fact that he's self-centered is the only thing that we can all agree on.

I'm not sure I agree with the idea that he's selfish. I haven't looked into this story at all other than what I've read here, but if his son did come out two years ago and he only changed his mind about equality now, I think it shows that he's put some thought into it. He might have been upset with his son two years ago, and (internally or otherwise) demonized him for being in an evil, gay relationship which was obviously from the devil. Time would show that all gays are promiscuous and immoral. When this did not come to pass, and his son was able to maintain a healthy, loving relationship with another man, perhaps he was able to slowly change his mind. After all, he had just seen that not all gay relationships lead to Sodom and Gomorrah, any more than all heterosexual relationships are idyllic and happy and everlasting.

So he may not have changed his mind because suddenly he was affected by this, but because his bigotry was slowly eroded by exposure to 'the other side'. I think this is quite laudable, and not selfish at all.

Again, I have no idea if this is what happened, but it seems at least as likely as the more negative view of his 'conversion'.

What's happening in this thread to Rob Portman is a weird mesh of "fake gamer girl" and hipster vibe. Apparently we hate him because we all liked gay people before it was cool, AND he's not a real marriage supporter, he's just a poseur because his son is gay.

It's a very weird thing. I blame St Patrick.

Good for Rob Portman that he found a reason to change his views and publicly support his son. I won't pretend to know what is going on in his life, heart, or mind as it makes no difference to me. Anything I would be able to come up with would be far less complex than reality, and I don't know the slightest thing about him from a personal standpoint. It is interesting how there seems to be an effort from some on both sides to make him irrelevant though.

Seth wrote:
What's happening in this thread to Rob Portman is a weird mesh of "fake gamer girl" and hipster vibe. Apparently we hate him because we all liked gay people before it was cool, AND he's not a real marriage supporter, he's just a poseur because his son is gay.

It's a very weird thing. I blame St Patrick.

This. He sucks because he only cares about his son, but when the other side points that out they're assholes?

Between the way this thread has gone and the Feminism/Sexism thread has gone, I think I'm ready to pull the plug on the last P&C threads I found worth participating in.

That's an interesting reaction, considering that I count ten people (including yourself) who support Portman, four who don't, and two who I can't tell. I hadn't previously expressed an opinion, but I don't care how someone comes to do the right thing, so long as they do the right thing. So that's one more vote in the "support" column.

The only people who commented on CPAC's comments were myself and Yonder. Yonder's one of the ones that I can't tell which way he leans, and as I said, I support Portman.

I kind of feel like people are reading a bit much into things here if they have some sense of overwhelming negativity towards Portman or gay-supportier-than-thou out of this. O_o

Hypatian wrote:
Yonder's one of the ones that I can't tell which way he leans.

I am a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.