Home » Opinion » Letter to the editor: Portman’s same-sex marriage stance hopeful catalyst

Letter to the editor: Portman’s same-sex marriage stance hopeful catalyst

Courtesy of MCT

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Letter to the editor:

Sen. Robert Portman, R-Ohio, recently made a shocking statement in support of same-sex marriage. Portman, a Republican, is suddenly extremely relevant. He had a change of heart on this issue because his son has “come out” as gay. Individuals who fashion themselves as activists on Facebook as well some journalists call Portman’s statement “selfish.” They claim that Portman would never have reached this change of heart if the issue hadn’t directly affected his family. They claim that while they’re grateful of his “change of heart,” they hope Portman will realize that all issues, especially those which Republicans dismiss immediately, deserve more careful consideration.
To these activists and journalists, I say:
Who cares?
Who cares if Portman only supports same-sex marriage because he wants his son to have the same rights that his other children enjoy? Who cares if he only supports same-sex marriage because he doesn’t want his gay son to be ashamed of his father?
Some people do care about the ulterior motives, but they shouldn’t. It is wonderful when a person pours their heart into a progressive cause and gets things done. Fighting for equality doesn’t have to be a person’s life work in order for them to work toward equality. The point is, a prominent Republican senator, and one who was on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s short list for running mate, has migrated a few degrees to the left, which makes him more appealing to a slightly wider range of constituents.
Portman was impassioned enough to call his faith, his system of moral beliefs, into question. He decided that the prominent message of the Christian Bible was a message of love. Same-sex marriage supporters should welcome people who support progressive causes and not question their motives.
Really, Portman’s statement represents the necessary change that is moving at glacial speed through the Republican party. President Barack Obama won the electoral vote by a landslide in November 2012, and Republican party candidate Mitt Romney managed to alienate just about every demographic. The Republican party continues to hold out, hoping they will get what they want. Unfortunately, a party that stands still instead of responding to its supporters and future supporters is a party that will quickly become obsolete. After all, the Tea Party politicians have lost seats in Congress due to their stubbornness. Portman has also stated that he will not actively work toward equalizing marriage laws in this country. This, honestly, does not matter. Hopefully Portman will serve as a catalyst, and his brave statement will show other Congressmen that times are changing, and Americans show a positive response to that change.

Maddie Fireman
Fourth-year in public affairs
fireman.4@osu.edu
 

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