Portman's Change of Heart Highlights Homphobia of the Republican Party
First off, good for Sen. Rob Portman for coming out in favor of marriage equality. In today’s Republican party, taking a public stand that flies in the face of the current orthodoxy requires courage, as well as confidence that you won’t be facing a primary challenge any time soon.
Portman’s support matters. He is the quintessential establishment Republican and was a runner-up to be Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential candidate. (Although not being chosen was the equivalent of losing your boarding pass for the Titanic, and the gay son angle probably didn’t help his chances in any case.)
Unlike the bulk of the Republicans who signed onto the Supreme Court brief in support of gay marriage, Portman is actually in a position to do something. And it’s a good father who is willing to rethink long-held beliefs out of love for his children.
The disturbing part of Portman’s announcement is his acknowledgment that he probably wouldn’t have given marriage equality a second thought if it hadn’t been for his son. In a CNN interview, Portman was asked what he would say to people who were happy that he changed his position but wonder why it took having a gay son to do so.