What Sen. Rob Portman's change of heart means for gay marriage

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    Mar 15, 2013 10:50 AM GMT
    http://theweek.com/article/index/241427/what-sen-rob-portmans-embrace-means-for-gay-marriage
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Mar 15, 2013 10:59 AM GMT
    Hopefully this will get more press and bring Portman to the TV screens of fence-sitting conservative voters, not just colleagues and law-makers. It's a sufficiently significant reversal to warrant some hope for the Republican Party.
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    Mar 15, 2013 12:12 PM GMT
    It means more bigots need gay children, that seems to be the only thing that changes their minds.
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    Mar 15, 2013 12:22 PM GMT
    madfacts saidIt means more bigots need gay children, that seems to be the only thing that changes their minds.


    You seem to focus on what he used to believe rather than what he actually does now. The point is that he changed his mind. It's sad that you can't see that.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 15, 2013 12:37 PM GMT
    I just find it amazing when someone is "personally touched" by something like this and suddenly sees the light and a complete about face. Glad
    he spoke up... he could be like others that don't... and it will help, but it shows how a personal experience can change someone.
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    Mar 15, 2013 12:40 PM GMT
    I'd prefer Rob Portman as president any day over Obama who is providing foreign aid to countries which execute gays.
  • HndsmKansan

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    Mar 15, 2013 1:02 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    HndsmKansan saidI just find it amazing when someone is "personally touched" by something like this and suddenly sees the light and a complete about face. Glad
    he spoke up... he could be like others that don't... and it will help, but it shows how a personal experience can change someone.

    The articles about this mention that he faced a massive student walkout when he gave the commencement address last year at Michigan Law School.

    My son organized that walkout and led the students out.



    Sounds like your son is willing to stand up and make some good waves!
    A trademark of your family Jeff.. icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 15, 2013 1:11 PM GMT
    Gay marriage makes sense because when we had civil unions, say, in New Jersey, UPS refused to recognize the rights of those who were in civil unions which forced the victimized to move into marriage territory.
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    Mar 15, 2013 1:12 PM GMT
    It will remain to be seen how much this changes minds among other Republican Senators and officials. For the moment Portman could just as well be the exception that proves the rule, given so much media exposure because it's so exceptional for a Republican. I don't think you'd see such headlines for a Democratic Senator making the same announcement.

    It'll be interesting to see what comments about this will be made at the current CPAC hatefest. They've been bashing gays already, per their SOP, and most of their featured speakers are notably gay-hostile. Will they try to ignore it, or how will they address it? Should be interesting, and perhaps give an indication whether Portman's announcement will have any beneficial effects on GOP policy in general.
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    Mar 15, 2013 1:14 PM GMT
    mx5guynj saidI'd prefer Rob Portman as president any day over Obama who is providing foreign aid to countries which execute gays.


    It would be interesting to know if the White House or the U.S. has these countries on a Human Rights violation list.

    Would that be the State Department? If so, it would have been odd that Clinton didn't list or have a stand against these countries.

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    Mar 15, 2013 1:16 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    redsoxfan791 said
    You seem to focus on what he used to believe rather than what he actually does now. The point is that he changed his mind. It's sad that you can't see that.

    You're naive if you think he believed it when he was anti-gay. Most of these guys couldn't care less one way or the other, they simply took their marching orders trom the religious crazies. As long as it wasn't personal, they didn't give a crap one way or the other.

    Now it got personal for him so now he actually cares. Is this more or less admirable? I say who cares---he's on the right side now.

    This. Although, when a politician has spent years spewing hate and then comes around with a change of heart, you have to remember all those years of hate filled talk has influenced a lot of people, so I hope he spends as much time and passion talking about his change of heart.
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    Mar 15, 2013 1:36 PM GMT
    redsoxfan791 said
    madfacts saidIt means more bigots need gay children, that seems to be the only thing that changes their minds.


    You seem to focus on what he used to believe rather than what he actually does now. The point is that he changed his mind. It's sad that you can't see that.

    No, it's sad that he has spent a career spreading hate until his own son shows him the way. How many people did he influence down the path of anti-gay marriage and equality prior to opening his eyes? I certainly hope he runs back to Ohio and spends time talking to the people of his state and campaigns now for equal rights for everyone.
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    Mar 15, 2013 2:20 PM GMT
    madfacts said
    You seem to focus on what he used to believe rather than what he actually does now. The point is that he changed his mind. It's sad that you can't see that.

    No, it's sad that he has spent a career spreading hate until his own son shows him the way. How many people did he influence down the path of anti-gay marriage and equality prior to opening his eyes? I certainly hope he runs back to Ohio and spends time talking to the people of his state and campaigns now for equal rights for everyone.

    I doubt that will happen and I agree that, despite his position now, a lot of damage was done by influencing people along the way.

    I've always said that ignorance is the worst enemy and that until people have a personal connection with someone gay, they don't really understand what it's all about.

    The good part is that every news organization has picked up the story and millions are being subjected to announcement that he has changed his mind. One step closer to equality, one small step.
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    Mar 15, 2013 2:29 PM GMT
    I have very mixed feelings about this in part by some recent experience. I've mentioned in other posts friends who betrayed me late in life as it is such a good example of so many issues. In that case, I have to consider that the whole time I thought we were friends, I was actually befriending people who had it in them to betray me. I always knew they were somewhat fucked up but I never suspected the extent. And none of my other family or friends did either, or at least nobody warned me and they are all outraged by what happened.

    For me, I have to question our entire past together. It feels like I was living a life with monsters hidden under the bed. My other friends don't have that in them as far as I know. I know I don't have that in me. But the entire time they seemed like friends, it turns out that they had it in them to purposely hurt me. So their apparent change of heart and subsequent actions destroy what I thought was our past together, invalidating the entire shared history of the relationship.

    Now what if someone changes for the good? My brother went from being a douchebag to me to being a very good brother to being decent enough. He was always demonstratably loving to his friends and the immediate family he made for himself but always had issues with the family into which he was born, a trait I believe he inherited from my family-damaged father. Yet I don't dismiss our tumultuous past together, I don't invalidate that experience just because he finally became a good guy like I do that my friends became bad people. Partly because I did always recognize that he had it in him to be a better person, but I also did know, as mentioned, that the traitors were somewhat fucked up.

    I do maintain my suspicions of him and I do see how easily he can slip into his old ways, only not as intense, not as deep. He has pulled himself out of that and at least partially filled in that hole.

    So what of people who tried to hurt us then turning around? If that person had always seemed on our side but then we found out was working against us behind our backs, would we believe the past? Or would we say we'd been duped? Yet does the person who changes for the good invalidate their past? Why does that seem to only work in one direction: forgetting that someone was good but not forgiving that someone was bad. Does that just come down to trust that the change is real? Or are they really just cheating?
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Mar 15, 2013 2:30 PM GMT
    I also think part of it is that people like Portman see the writing on the wall. It's in their long term political * interests * to come about on issues that may pose long term problems. The GOP might want to dive off the viability cliff, but I bet a certain US senator wants to keep his seat in a swing state.

    Marriage in itself is a conservative idea. For a conservative politician, you'd think this would be a non-issue, especially given the fact the general trend implies people are more tolerant towards gay marriage. His son coming out probably added the extra push. Having a gay son and being anti-gay marriage would be bad politics.
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    Mar 15, 2013 2:38 PM GMT
    BIG_N_TALL saidI also think part of it is that people like Portman see the writing on the wall. It's in their long term political * interests * to come about on issues that may pose long term problems. The GOP might want to dive off the viability cliff, but I bet a certain US senator wants to keep his seat in a swing state.

    I have to agree here. I think you'll see more republicans realizing that the train is about to leave the station and they can hope on board or get out of the way, but that train is LEAVING! For some it's a political decision, for Portman, I think it was both political and personal and probably a very difficult decision for him to make. All aboard!!!
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    Mar 15, 2013 2:45 PM GMT
    theantijock saidSo what of people who tried to hurt us then turning around? If that person had always seemed on our side but then we found out was working against us behind our backs, would we believe the past? Or would we say we'd been duped? Yet does the person who changes for the good invalidate their past? Why does that seem to only work in one direction: forgetting that someone was good but not forgiving that someone was bad. Does that just come down to trust that the change is real? Or are they really just cheating?

    This goes to the heart of whether someone can honestly change. We like fairytale endings so going from bad to better is always our preferred way but you're right, it's a multi-directional event.

    How can a man like this be so adamant in one direction and then do a reversal when his son comes out. His son is in college, did he not see this at all or suspect his son might be gay? Is this just a political move or is he sincere? Saving face with the family? His actions now will prove more significant than his statement, in my opinion.
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    Mar 15, 2013 3:12 PM GMT
    Time will tell what this truly means. But I'm willing to cut him some slack. Empathy is a powerful emotion and will make a soldier release a captor, a judge pardon a guilty criminal and a person forgive an enemy. Being hateful feels good for a little while but then it begins to drain you. You need look no further than the Westboro Church to see what lack of empathy can cause.

    How he got to here, to me, is less important than where he goes from here.
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    Mar 15, 2013 3:15 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    redsoxfan791 said
    You seem to focus on what he used to believe rather than what he actually does now. The point is that he changed his mind. It's sad that you can't see that.

    You're naive if you think he believed it when he was anti-gay. Most of these guys couldn't care less one way or the other, they simply took their marching orders trom the religious crazies. As long as it wasn't personal, they didn't give a crap one way or the other.

    Now it got personal for him so now he actually cares. Is this more or less admirable? I say who cares---he's on the right side now.


    I love how we're now in the business of basically telling people that we're not interested in their support because they're Republicans. You're naive if you think that all Republicans are bastards.

    Let me get this clear...I DON'T FUCKING CARE WHEN YOU GET TO THE GODDAM MOTHER FUCKING PARTY! MY ONLY INTEREST IS THAT YOU SHOW UP! SUPPORT IS SUPPORT! IF YOU CAN'T SEE THAT, YOU'VE COMPLETELY MISSED THE POINT.

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    Mar 15, 2013 3:18 PM GMT
    madfacts said
    redsoxfan791 said
    madfacts saidIt means more bigots need gay children, that seems to be the only thing that changes their minds.


    You seem to focus on what he used to believe rather than what he actually does now. The point is that he changed his mind. It's sad that you can't see that.

    No, it's sad that he has spent a career spreading hate until his own son shows him the way. How many people did he influence down the path of anti-gay marriage and equality prior to opening his eyes? I certainly hope he runs back to Ohio and spends time talking to the people of his state and campaigns now for equal rights for everyone.


    In the words of Harvey Milk:

    “Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better”

    Sometimes it takes someone close and dear to you to come out for you to realize the error of your ways. Portman's son came out, and he realized that he was wrong. That's all that matters.
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    Mar 15, 2013 4:29 PM GMT
    eb925guy said
    BIG_N_TALL saidI also think part of it is that people like Portman see the writing on the wall. It's in their long term political * interests * to come about on issues that may pose long term problems. The GOP might want to dive off the viability cliff, but I bet a certain US senator wants to keep his seat in a swing state.

    I have to agree here. I think you'll see more republicans realizing that the train is about to leave the station and they can hope on board or get out of the way, but that train is LEAVING! For some it's a political decision, for Portman, I think it was both political and personal and probably a very difficult decision for him to make. All aboard!!!


    I'm mostly all onboard for the part that might be personal. For the part that's political, without further convincing, I might be more inclined to throw him under the train.

    eb925guy said
    theantijock saidSo what of people who tried to hurt us then turning around? If that person had always seemed on our side but then we found out was working against us behind our backs, would we believe the past? Or would we say we'd been duped? Yet does the person who changes for the good invalidate their past? Why does that seem to only work in one direction: forgetting that someone was good but not forgiving that someone was bad. Does that just come down to trust that the change is real? Or are they really just cheating?

    This goes to the heart of whether someone can honestly change. We like fairytale endings so going from bad to better is always our preferred way but you're right, it's a multi-directional event.

    How can a man like this be so adamant in one direction and then do a reversal when his son comes out. His son is in college, did he not see this at all or suspect his son might be gay? Is this just a political move or is he sincere? Saving face with the family? His actions now will prove more significant than his statement, in my opinion.


    Yes, it speaks to whether they can honestly change. But also it whispers whether we can believe them.

    And as much as action might speak louder than words, I think it is actually when the two coincide--show and tell--that some assimilation of any real change might coalesce. And in this I am conflicted. On the one hand, I don't believe that someone who has denigrated us deserves the privilege of championing us. On the other hand, how else does someone show repentance?
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    Mar 15, 2013 4:32 PM GMT
    This is a wonderful and beautiful thing, regardless of political orientation. It's a shame people will still try to find something negative with it.

    THIS is how you change the hearts and minds of close-minded people...this does far more for the cause of equality than a million gay parades.
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    Mar 15, 2013 4:46 PM GMT
    mocktwinkles saidThis is a wonderful and beautiful thing, regardless of political orientation. It's a shame people will still try to find something negative with it.

    THIS is how you change the hearts and minds of close-minded people...this does far more for the cause of equality than a million gay parades.


    Right, nice attempt to try and degrade the efforts of a village, because everyone easily recognizes that a million gay parades couldn't possibly help to instill enough pride and sense of community for one lone kid to come out to his conservative dad.

    Be careful how quickly you hit the patient over the head with his own crutch. That leg might not be healed yet.
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    Mar 15, 2013 5:08 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidIt will remain to be seen how much this changes minds among other Republican Senators and officials. For the moment Portman could just as well be the exception that proves the rule, given so much media exposure because it's so exceptional for a Republican. I don't think you'd see such headlines for a Democratic Senator making the same announcement.

    It'll be interesting to see what comments about this will be made at the current CPAC hatefest. They've been bashing gays already, per their SOP, and most of their featured speakers are notably gay-hostile. Will they try to ignore it, or how will they address it? Should be interesting, and perhaps give an indication whether Portman's announcement will have any beneficial effects on GOP policy in general.


    My feelings exactly! The GOP never made it into the 20th century, not to mention the 21st!
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    Mar 15, 2013 5:52 PM GMT
    redsoxfan791 said
    madfacts saidIt means more bigots need gay children, that seems to be the only thing that changes their minds.


    You seem to focus on what he used to believe rather than what he actually does now. The point is that he changed his mind. It's sad that you can't see that.


    Well said