Progress is progress, but the Sen. Portman evolution thing this morning is just another example of how shallow and hollow all the family values stuff is.
Portman tells us now that,
“[His son Will coming out as gay] allowed me to think about this issue from a new perspective and that’s as a dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister have,” Portman said.
He never walked a mile in someone else’s shoes? He never thought about it before? The Golden Rule?
I’m always a sap for happy endings in movies, but this one still begs the question: if that’s all it took for a death-bed conversion, then doesn’t that prove the pettiness of his previous position?
The cynic in me also wonders if this is an opening gambit for a 2016 Goat Rodeo bid: he’s getting in front of an issue that the changing demographics like.
I’m all for common decency, and it must be new to a life-long Republican, so huzzah for Portman. Now what is he going to do about it? Let’s see him fight for his son’s rights, maybe stand up for ENDA so his kid cannot be fired for being gay, then I’ll be impressed.
UPDATE 1: Read the interview. This is as shallow as it gets (emphasis mine):
Portman, who backed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, said he now thinks parts of that bill should be repealed, though he hasn’t considered introducing such legislation himself because economic policy issues are his specialty.
Portman said he believes that same-sex couples who marry legally in states where it’s allowed should get the federal benefits that are granted to heterosexual married couples but aren’t currently extended to gay married couples because of DOMA, such as the ability to file joint tax returns. Family law has traditionally been a state responsibility, Portman says, so the federal definition of marriage should not preempt state marriage laws.
If Ohio voters were to reconsider the gay marriage ban they adopted in 2004, Portman said he might support it, depending on its wording, though he would not be likely to take a leadership role on the issue just as he didn’t take a leadership role in 2004. He stressed that he doesn’t want to force his views on others, and that religious institutions shouldn’t be forced to perform weddings or recognize marriages they don’t condone.
He doesn’t want “to force his view on others,” says the man who voted for a Constitutional Amendment. Yeah, this is political calculation and opportunism at its finest.