Well glory be in the morning, a Republican senator had a real life Paul on the Road to Damascus moment! Seems that Rob Portman of Ohio has decided that gay marriage is A-OK by him, and all it took was his son coming out as gay!
Fig 1: Hero
This is what passes for “empathy” for Republicans. They can’t be bothered to give a shit about something unless it personally affects them. In a flash, something they didn’t care about at all becomes a national tragedy as soon as it has a negative effect on one of their own.
Some are praising this guy’s sudden awareness that maybe gay people can be human beings too as a triumph of family love or, at the very, most minimal, least, a “baby step”. But is it? Will Senator Portman be able to examine this feeling and logically extend it? “What if my son were poor? What if he were in need of basic healthcare? What if he were a woman?” We can all hope, but it seems unlikely. No less a monster than Dick Cheney is all for gay marriage, and for the same Gay Kid reason. Doesn’t change anything else about him.
In fact, there’s only so much even “affects me” can do. We can assume that many of these guys have daughters as well, and that doesn’t change anything for them. Gay sons are still sons, after all, and should a Republican son ever be told he can’t have something he wants?
So no, this isn’t a big step for anyone unless, as I say in the post title, a bunch more Republican kids prefer coming out of the closet to marrying female Republican politicians.
Also, the first comment over at MassLive gives us an alternative view: “Glad his son didn’t ‘come out’ as a terrorist, traitor or seditionist.”