Okay so maybe I intentionally misled you with the title of this post, but I seem to be in the minority of homosexuals who think Sen. Rob Portman’s change of heart is a good thing. Unless he gives a ‘no’ vote on the next equality bill that crosses his desk, he isn’t a hypocrite, he is just a man who was personally effected by something and changed his priorities.
I change my priorities all the time depending on what I learn about myself or others.
What I don’t understand is all the hate from homosexuals that this man is currently receiving. He should have our support. We should all write him letters and thank him for standing against the party line for the love of his son and ultimately for each and every one of us fighting for equality; gay or straight. We should be grateful that even one person who voted against us for so long, now understands how hurtful it is. He now understands on a personal level how important it is, and how ‘not wrong’ it is to let adults choose their life partners and be recognized under the law. He now understands that homosexuals are just normal people who want to live their lives like any other adult in this country.
His son was the catalyst. His son (imagine how hard it was for him to come out at all) used his relationship with his father to help change the political landscape for all of us. This father and son relationship could be the turning point in the fight for equality and yet people are finding things to be pissed about. It amazes me how very ungrateful some of us have been in light of this revelation.
Is our whole society that supports us hypocrites? I would say that a good portion of the people who support marriage equality that aren’t homosexual themselves feel the way they do because they have a close friend or family member who is gay. Especially when we are talking about the religious right. These folks don’t change their hearts because God wants them too or because they suddenly interpret the Bible differently – they join us because they know someone who is gay and all of a sudden have a personal understanding of how this affects families. Sen. Portman could have done what many others have done and disowned his gay son. He could have pushed him out of his life because his political and religious beliefs were stronger than his love for his son, but he didn’t. He choose to love and accept his gay son- and therefore to love and accept every one of us.
I can’t imagine the turmoil that this staunch Republican went through. This wasn’t an overnight process. His son came out to him two years ago – so to say that this change of heart was sudden is wrong. There was a process that went on there. This man decided that his son was more important than votes, and he decided that in order for his son to be afforded life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – he was going to have to make very unpopular change his political stance. because of his position, he didn’t get to change quietly like other parents of gay kids – he had to do it on a national scale. His actions showed not his hypocrisy; but it is a lesson for every parent that disowned their kids, it is a proclamation to the rest of America, it is CHANGE and it is what we have been asking for since our movement began. If that is the action of a hypocrite – well then I hope every person in the senate and congress behaves in such a manner – I want a nation of hypocrites (at least on this issue).
So thank you Senator Rob Portman for being a good man. Thank you for loving your son enough to fight for all of us. Thank you for realizing that we are (like your son) just people who want to love and be loved in return and that isn’t something we should legislate. Thank you for becoming our newest and possibly hugely influential advocate. I wish you success in your new fight and I hope that through your change of heart you will help others to change theirs too.
Let Sen. Portman and his family know that you are grateful for this – give him a tweet @robportman or write him a nice letter thanking him for possibly tanking his political career because he was brave enough to love his son more than he loves his party line.