Senator Rob Portman became the most prominent Republican lawmaker to back gay rights when he reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage on Friday, two years after his son told him he was gay.

In a newspaper opinion piece on Friday, shortly before the Supreme Court is to hear arguments in two key cases on the issue, the Ohio senator said he now supports gay marriage.

“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” Portman wrote in an op-ed piece in Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch.

“That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a Congressman, and more recently as a Senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then, something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.”

Portman’s 21-year-old son, Will, told the senator and his wife in February 2011 that he was gay and had been “since he could remember.”

It was the latest show of public support for gay rights. President Barack Obama announced last year that he approved of gay marriage, and in his inaugural speech in January, he equated gay rights with civil rights.

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments later this month in two cases related to gay marriage. One challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In a related case, the court will also hear arguments that question a California law, known as Proposition 8, banning gay marriage…

In his op-ed piece, Portman wrote of how he has “wrestled” with reconciling his Christian faith with the desire for his son to have the same opportunities as his siblings.

Which is why they’re called civil rights.

  1. What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

    Supposedly in Germany during WWII, “no one” cared that Jews were being sent away as long as each person’s “one” Jewish friend was alright… and when that Jewish friend was sent away, what could anyone say?

    Acknowledge everyone’s right to self determination, in union with other like-minded adults.

    • ± says:

      I’m all for it as long as they don’t call it “marriage”. The word is taken.

      Homosexuals are idiots because they would already have what they want; state recognized partnership with full legal rights equal to married people, if they only didn’t insist on co-opting the meaning of “marriage” along with this.

      So because of the insistence of wanting to own the word “marriage”, they have the resistance of millions of people to their cause, many of whom would automatically support them if they picked a different word.

      • Phydeau says:

        The word “marriage” was co-opted in the bible too, as one man with many wives. Does that make the word useless to you because of that?

        And how exactly does it harm your straight marriage, ±, if gay couples get married? I’m all ears.

        • ± says:

          Being a homosexual is a genetic affliction. Married people aren’t genetically afflicted (at least in that regard). They shouldn’t have to start explaining that they are the normal type of married.

          I’ll steal another English word to help you understand (it is an example only, this is not and endorsment of the word). Two homosexuals can get “exalted”. They have full legal rights as any married people. Nothing wrong with that, is there?

          Billy-Joe is going to exalt Jim-Bob.

          Billy-Joe exalted Jim-Bob, it was the best wedding and reception I had ever attended.

          Did you hear that Jim-Bob divorced Billy-Joe? And they were only married for 9 months.

          “Married” is between a man and a woman, it doesn’t matter how many of each is involved.

          • Phydeau says:

            They shouldn’t have to start explaining that they are the normal type of married.

            So this is the heart of your argument? I have news for you… if you see a man and a woman walking down the street together holding hands, both wearing gold bands on their left hand, it doesn’t take a lot to figure out they are straight and married. Likewise, if you see two men or two women in the same scenario, it’s not hard to figure out that they are gay and married.

            So what’s the problem with letting them all use the same term “marriage”? No explaining is necessary.

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            It is all definitional and I initiallyl resisted gays getting married PURELY on linguistic/historical grounds.

            Led to a thread about the different terms for marriage and the participants as you suggest like “May/December” Marriages or “Trophy Wives” or Gold Diggers.

            When gays get married and are variously called Husbands or Wives in a jumbled up mess, the language loses its precision.

            But then too many idiots argued as you have that the gay is an infliction. So, I changed my mind.

            The only infliction I see now is being an adult and still thinking anyone should care what other people do when they and society are not harmfully impacted.

            “Words” are not as important as the people who use them. What is of minor intellectual formality to me should not trump what is deeply personal to anyone else.

            Know what I mean?

          • So what says:

            “Being a homosexual is a genetic affliction.” Were you born stupid as a “genetic affliction” or do you work at it?

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            I’m pretty sure P/M was being sarcastic, and the statement can be scrubbed of political correctness and be seen as balanced betweens gays and straights, but…why be ambiguous on a sensitive subject to begin with?

            After all, we aren’t Right Wing Goofballs.

          • What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

            You ducked the question.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s a bit more to civil rights than gay marriage. But as long as this remains your distraction, they will go unnoticed.

  3. dave m brewer says:

    If his son was a murderer… He would pack up his son… (Make sure he has his needs and money for the rest of his life.) and send him away so that nobody can touch him. This guy is a fake and a hypocrite!!!

    • Phydeau says:

      That’s right! Because murdering a person and being gay are, like, exactly the same thing!!!

      • dave m brewer says:

        I’m taking about side stepping issues when they come you way… you idiot!

  4. Mextli says:

    Situational ethics, conveniently flexible.

    • Phydeau says:

      Kind of like how Republicans loved Obamacare back when it was first presented by the Republicans at the Heritage Foundation back in the 90s. But now that it’s being pushed by a Democrat, they hate it.

      Good point Mextli! 🙂

      • NUTS! says:

        You really should research that one. It’s NOT the new all encompassing Obama care laws that most Republican’s object to but rather the foot to the throat methods that were used. You don’t realize it NOW but you WILL!!!

        • Phydeau says:

          Such a conveniently short memory. The Republicans wrote the book on “foot to the throat methods” when Dubya was president. And now too, basically filibustering EVERY SINGLE BILL the Democrats try to pass.

          • MikeN says:

            You aren’t understanding what Harry Reid is doing and instead just falling for his talking points. Harry Reid is filing for cloture on every bill before debate has started, AND filling the tree so no amendments can be offered until you first consider one of Reid’s amendments. So If Republicans want to have the power to offer amendments to a bill, they have no choice but to filibuster. It is Reid who has wrecked Senate procedure and collegiality.

  5. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Like Cheney, just another example of having a “life experience” out of the shit hole unrealistic inhuman bubble known as the Red State Conservative Mind Set.

    They are all assholes. Nothing “situational” about it. Same with all civil rights, tax policy, abortion, euthanasia, death with dignity, global warming, gun policy, drug policy social safety net, No WAR, and all the rest.

    Liberals are basically right, and whats called Social Conservatives are basically wrong. Details vary but thems the nuts of the matter.

    Only exposure to “Real Life” opens the eyes of these dogmatic posers.

    If you disagree……….you’ve got blinkers on.

    Sad what Hoomans do to themselves.

    • Phydeau says:

      I agree bobbo, it’s amazing how many people hate gay people who have actually never met a gay person.

      • So what says:

        More than likely they did, but as the other person did not have a scarlet G tattooed on their forehead, they didn’t know it.

    • NUTS! says:

      I disagree. So I suppose you’re going to tell me what an asshole I am. RIGHT?!

      Way to go with those facts and figures again. WAY TO GO!

  6. Sometimes it takes personal experience in one’s own family to finally see the truth. Better late than never.

    Following the idiotic line of “thinking” by some particularly obnoxious conservatives, it’s only a matter of time before Senator Portman will be advocating for his son’s right to marry a goat.

    • NUTS! says:

      There’s a DIFFERENCE between a goat and a PERSON!

      Goats can’t sign contracts!!!

  7. Phydeau says:

    Whenever the topic of gay marriage comes up, I always ask for an example of a straight couple whose marriage has been harmed by allowing gay marriage.

    No one has ever been able to give an example.

    • Dallas says:

      There is none. A response usually slithers into tradition and God.

      It’s basically a human bigot response mechanism looking for a reason. There is none so this is where tradition and God come in.

    • NUTS! says:

      It’s not so much a gay-straight issue when it comes to INFIDELITY! It’s a trust-no trust thing.

    • MikeN says:

      Maybe that’s because the marriage has already been damaged by it or never happened?

      If you raise the price from 1.98 to 1.99, economics tells us that sales will fall, but can you point to me the person who didn’t buy it?

      Changing the definition of marriage weakens it and makes it less attractive as an option. Gay marriage is not the only thing that has weakened marriages. Obviously, no-fault divorce laws have done more. At fault divorce has also done that.

  8. Dallas says:

    Oh please. Portman, like every other Teapublican, couldn’t care less about supporting their son being gay. This is about wanting to be in front of the line in the reborn Teapublican party.

    They know the majority of their sheeple constituents either support gay marriage or couldn’t care less. The process of shedding the laundry list of demands that the Christian Taliban has imposed on the party is taking place before our eyes.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Dallas I think you are missing the more complicated fractious nature of the Big Tent of the Republican Party. You are right that a TeaPublican by platform doesn’t care about the gay, but several of the other factions do.

      So–the TeaPublican block does not need to be Pandered to but the SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE, and the RELIGIOUS FUNDIES of the Republican Tent still have an acid test for being Anti-Gay to get their support. Its Why the Log Cabin Boys were not invited==the Conservative Republicans DO pander to their base by voicing their disapproval.

      The more cogent comment is of the same nature though: everything is political in that Portman has known his son was gay for years and did not come out to support him until AFTER his consideration as VP under $Rmoney was over.

      We should fairly recognize the power of consciousness in his case. If he were a wee bit more religious, he might not have done it until after his (Right Wing) political career was over.

      EVERY POLITICIAN should do social work for a few years. Get to know the people. Working on Wallstreet is a powerful parallel course but down an opposite track.


      • Dallas says:


        You raise a good point. My point was mainly about your 2nd part but you made it even more apparent that this is a political farce.

      • NUTS! says:

        There you go off PREACHING AGAIN! You sound almost like the POPE!!!

        You are right that a TeaPublican by platform doesn’t care about the gay, but several of the other factions do.

        You really think that’s a FACT?!

        Oh! but here’s the best mental turd you’ve come up with so far:


        Care to guess who THAT sounds like?!!!

        … Try Joseph Stalin!

    • nobodyspecial says:

      Normally I’m all for equal rights – but do we really want to allow Republicans to marry?
      It will only encourage them.

      At least the gays ones don’t breed

  9. Mextli says:

    Lets see what SCOUS has to say about Proposition 8. Without that the gaaay population will not be able to breed in the land of fruit and nuts. How did it ever get passed?

  10. sho off says:

    Portman=Hypocrite. Just like all the other tax and spend Republicans.

    Little babys are always complaining about government out of our lives. Who cares? Really?

    I get invited to Hetro weddings regularly. I don’t go (unless it’s open bar) or send presents because I know they are getting divorced with in ten years. Half my groomsmen from last century are on wife or live in number 2 or 3.

    Don’t take away my second amendment rights…..but completely stifle our First Amendment right of freedom of association.

    I’ve been married a couple of decades and gay marriage only threatens my daughter’s ability to reserve a wedding hall.

    If you’re pro growth, Gay weddings should push the high end catering and party hall/event center business through the roof. My wedding cost $25,000 in the early 90’s. I bet they are more now. Gay weddings are a growth business.

    These event planning companies will be paying bribes (I mean lobbyist) to get these marriages recognized. Once the Conservatives find cash from Churches, caters, and event centers they are going to be all about gay marriage.

    • NUTS! says:

      You’re a perfect example of totally mind fucked idiot. The term is “TAX AND SPEND LIBERAL”!

  11. Captain Obvious says:

    I guess when he has a black kid he’ll support civil rights.

  12. ± says:

    Does Phydeau think that diabetes (type 1), myopia, color blindness, haemophilia, homosexuality, etc. are not genetic afflictions?

    • I won’t speak for Phydeau, but I think the real problem is your insistence on calling homosexuality an “affliction” and lumping it in with the other items on your list, which really are true afflictions. My dictionary defines an affliction as something which causes pain, distress, or suffering. Since all of the pain, distress, and suffering from being gay is caused by other peoples’ reaction rather than the condition itself, this trait would more properly be described as just one more human variation, similar to red hair. You may tease, taunt, or bully red-haired “gingers,” but the redness of their hair is not an affliction, and neither is being gay.

      • ± says:

        OK. Pick a different word then (than affliction) if that is important to you.

        A dominant homosexual trait (as many other genetic afflictions) would have caused extinction for 99.99%+ of the time that humanity has existed (assuming 1,000,000 years of humanity).

        • What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

          Some day you will look back an be embarrassed by your public stance on The Gays.

          Of course, on that day, you won’t be enough of a man to publicly admit you held a wrong headed belief.

          That’s just the kind of person you are.

        • It’s very considerate of you to be so concerned that the human race could become extinct if homosexuality were the dominant trait. I should probably nominate you for “Humanitarian of the Year.” On the other hand, we could really use a drastic reduction in unplanned, unwanted pregnancies, and the population bomb on planet Earth would completely stop ticking if everyone had to make the extra effort that gay people have to make when they undertake to raise a family.

          Whatever the case, the notion of “genetically predisposed extinction” is insufficient basis for continuing to withhold from gays the right to marry someone they love, just as heterosexuals are allowed to do, so I won’t let it cloud my thinking.

        • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

          Like the Bill of Rights—any Dominant Trait if not moderated by its opposing elements would cause great harm if not extinction to the subject of their affliction.

          It could well be the the nexus of interactive genetic material expressing itself as gay is the only thing saving us from extinction.

          It certainly ain’t Jebus.

          • NUTS! says:

            Sounds like more PREACHING here. Sounds like you’re attempting to get people to BELIEVE the same things you BELIEVE in. No shred of evidence. Just more leftist brainwashed doctrine from a different kind ALTAR.

            So can you be more honest and just start calling yourself what you are? A HYPOCRITE!

            “Anti-theist” MY ASS!

          • Mextli says:

            It certainly isn’t your philosophy dummy.

  13. Furrener says:

    A better question to ask is why your President doesn’t support Civil Rights?

    • NUTS! says:

      He does. But only for “MINORITIES”!

      It’s sort of “Catch 22” racism when you think about it.

    • Dallas says:

      Your question makes no sense. This site is about clarity of opinion with logic, examples and thoroughness.

      Pls abide by these simple rules.

  14. B. Dog says:

    I don’t think that Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy was entitled to gov’t benefits for marrying Ratso, since it was in New York.

  15. Go Figure! I'm a RIGHT Wing NUT! says:

    I’m sick and tired of this same old stupid argument.

    The gay community has a very valid point. Either allow any two CONSENTING ADULTS to get married or STOP >>>LEGALLY<<< RECOGNIZING MARRIAGE! This is not that hard to figure out.

    What married people do behind closed doors is their business, NOT YOURS, and definitely NOT THE GOVERNMENTS! And yes, it sickens me to think what may be going on but again, IT'S NO ONE'S BUSINESS! (At least until it becomes a real health concern for other people.)

    And if you don't like the idea of calling it marriage then go join another CHURCH! Stop praying and preaching in the government buildings and trying to impose your BELIEFS!

  16. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    NUTS! demonstrating his point says:
    3/17/2013 at 6:32 am

    Sounds like more PREACHING here. /// How could presenting the other side of an argument sound like anything else? Foolish boy. Pure Rhetoric. A cut and paste response that can be used EVERY time nothing of substance ((ie–no facts, no LOGIC, no definitions))

    Sounds like you’re attempting to get people to BELIEVE the same things you BELIEVE in. /// Yes, but not by droning repetition or Rhetoric as you do. This argument is based on logic and definitions. Most discussions regarding values is like that. After all, you can’t weigh common sense and humanity on an atomic scale.

    No shred of evidence. Just more leftist brainwashed doctrine from a different kind ALTAR. /// Blah, blah. What facts do you want? The range of the number of identified genes that might be involved? (7 to 12–hard to tell as they are interactive with one another and the “non” genetic material they are surrounded by aka “junk” dna). Facts like it is co located with the genes that affect a womans fecundity and all the statistical analysis that mothers of gay children produce more children overall thereby countering the death to the species by gay genes argument? On this issue, the facts are subordinate to the ideas. So often the case in hooman affairs.

    So can you be more honest and just start calling yourself what you are? A HYPOCRITE! /// How? Its right in my nom de flame: “evangelical.” Just because you disagree (somehow, someway as you are specific) doesn’t mean whatever list of epithets you wish to throw at the subject.

    “Anti-theist” MY ASS! /// Again you basically fail the dictionary test. I could be all you say but pushing a value system even at the religious level of devotion does not make one a theist. Gives the impression you don’t know what most of the words you use even mean.

    Know what I mean?

    Foolish Hooman.

  17. MikeN says:

    What is a gay union of a man and a woman?

  18. MikeN says:

    What is the purpose of having government recognizing homosexual couples? There is a clear interest in recognizing marriages, as the basic building block of society in which children are raised. If it were just a matter of two people in love, then government has no need to get involved.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr History Buff says:

      Government has the DUTY to create a level playing field where all the people have an equal chance at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Part of that equal chance is to treat all citizens the same/fairly/as required by the Constitution. The government should not pick and choose among equally situated people.

      So, the argument always has been how are gays and straights the same or different.

      I don’t think there is a “natural justice” position here. The point being as you slightly touch on that there is substantive differences between gays and straights. Just as there are between men and women. So the question is do those difference make a difference.

      Fun thing to think about.

    • orchidcup says:

      If it were just a matter of two people in love, then government has no need to get involved.

      Without government involvement, people would be falling in love all over the place.

      We can’t have that.

      The fabric of society would be unraveled.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr History Buff says:

      As an anti-theist and even especially anti the evil that is the Catholic Church (as opposed to the Catholic Religion) I can say the article as present has ZERO relevance to me.

      So, I manipulate it to MAKE it relevant.

      All the same ideas can roughly be applied to what we see on this forum all the time: the tension between modernity and Luddites, or between modernity/the future and the past/status quo, or between liberals and conservatives, or between being a member of society and being an individual.

      Most conflicts are pretty much the same. Idiots being unwilling/unable to flex their minds….. so they throw a rock.

      Stoopid Hoomans.

  19. MikeN says:

    During my career in the House and also the last few years in the Senate, I’ve taken a position against gay marriage rooted in part in my faith and my faith tradition.” But he has been “rethinking my position, talking to my pastor and other religious leaders.”

    It would be interesting to find out what exactly his Christian pastor said to him. Did the pastor tell him that Christianity looks favorably on man-man marriage? Or that God made men and women essentially interchangeable? If so, why didn’t the pastor tell this to the senator the whole time the senator opposed same-sex marriage?

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr History Buff says:

      The sound of BS is much louder than one hand clapping.

  20. Mrsurfboard says:

    His reason seems more sincere then Obama’s. Obama changed his stance on gay marriage for votes.


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