Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman has voted for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same sex couples from being married. He has voted for the Defense of Marriage Act blocking the federal government from recognizing same sex marriage as legal. He voted for a law making it illegal for same sex couples to adopt children. All of these votes were based on his religious and social belief that same sex couples were unnatural, would cause children irreparable harm as parents and were violating God's moral law. Like Saturday Night Live's Emily Lettella, Portman would now like to say, "...never mind".
In the midst of anti-gay screeds and fealty to the bigotry and prejudice of his party, Portman was told by his son, a freshman at Yale, he was gay. Confronted by the fact gays were now "us" and no longer "them", and the fact he loved his son, Portman has now reversed his stand and wishes DOMA were rescinded and same sex couples allowed to marry. (However, Portman says it should be left up to the states and must hope his son chooses to live in Massachusetts knowing that if lives in Ohio, dad will not do anything to help him secure his rights.)
This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, when regressive Republicans find themselves reversing field when confronted with a family member or situation which hits them where they live. No greater champion of straight, macho values than Vice President Dick Cheney, changed his position on homosexual rights when his daughter announced she was a lesbian. The congressional patron saint of the anti-abortion movement, Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, paid for at least two abortions for his wife (and drove her to at least one), and the great moral intellectual Dan Quayle admitted on Larry King if his daughter got pregnant he would help her get an abortion if she so desired.
I can't stand it. Have they no shame? Isn't it now clear all these moral positions and value posturing are just for political consumption and when push comes to shove they abandon God and church and morality as fast as Jimmy Swaggert getting out of a motel room.
If God says homosexuality is unnatural, or disordered or that abortion is murder and an abomination, it applies to all of "them" out there and applies to your own son or daughter or wife. There are no codicils or sub paragraphs to the 10 commandments when it comes to family or loved ones. If homosexuals will harm the children they adopt, so will your son Senator or your daughter Mr. Vice President. If God intended marriage to only be for a man and woman (Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve), then supporting your gay son's quest to be married violates God's wishes. How can it be so many of these regressive politicians can spout chapter and verse of what God is thinking, except when applied to their own family? If you look up hypocrisy in the dictionary there will be a rogue's gallery of their pictures.
Senator Portman's son tweeted he has never been prouder of his father. Is he proud his father told God to take a flying leap? Is he proud his father was willing to demonize anyone who was gay as long as they weren't family? Is he proud of all the damage his father's, and his father's party, have done by characterizing homosexuality as deviant or dangerous?
It is said regressives believe government governs best which governs least. Yet, they consistently want to use government to invade the most personal and private places in our lives. Hanbaugh, and the Weiner, and the rest of the regressive media machine, are outraged by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to regulate the size soda cup you can purchase. Yet, they are quite comfortable regulating what a woman can do with her body or what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes, unless of course they are family.
Senator Portman deserves no kudos. He is a modern day Pharisee who changed his rules when they would hurt his son. There will be no chapters set aside for him in future editions of Profiles in Courage.