The dip is due to a 13-point increase in his disapproval rating among Republicans. Forty-one percent of GOP voters said they view Portman less favorably because of his shift. Overall, 20 percent of voters think more favorably of the senator now, 25 percent think less favorably and 53 percent say it makes no difference. Portman’s disapproval rating with independents is also up slightly.
Rob Portman Hub
In both the run up to and in the wake of historic Supreme Court arguments on gay equality (which you can read about here, here, here, here, and here), several political leaders from both parties have come out in favor of the freedom to marry. We've had Jon Huntsman, a Republican; Mark Begich, a Democrat; Rob Portman, a Republican; Hillary Clinton, a Democrat; Mark Kirk, a Republican; Bob Casey, a Democrat; and many others. And, they are just a tiny fraction of a fraction of the 58 % of Americans that now support our quest for marriage recognition.
Senators Begich, Portman, Kirk, and Casey are 4 among the 52 United States Senators -- more than 1/2 of that august body -- on the right side of history. Senator Tim Johnson, Democrat of South Dakota, is the latest, and Sen. Kirk is the latest Republican to buck the continued bigotry of his party's base and leadership, a position for which he deserves credit. But, let's not put the latecomers above the vanguard, like Senator Ron Wyden (pictured), a Democrat, who came out for marriage equality in 1995, before "marriage equality" was the de rigueur phrase and long before every other proud progressive felt comfortable following his lead.
Conservatives and liberals have blasted some our most recent allies as "phony" opportunists, spineless, or worse. Chief Justice Roberts even derisively characterized them as "falling over themselves" to support us. Others say we should welcome the evolution as either the nature of the political beast or the product of a personal journey. That's a discussion worth having, but at the moment, I am more interested in what got us here.
If you have been reading the news over the past two weeks, your head might be spinning from the tidal wave of pro-equality support. I mixed those metaphors for a reason: it's a surprisingly accurate description. One by one, many of our politicians have jumped on the marriage bandwagon. There were some important moments along the way -- President Obama and Rob Portman come to mind -- but the momentum reached a climax in the week leading up the Supreme Court hearings on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop 8 case, and Windsor v. United States, the challenge to DOMA.
Timing was not our only ally; the law was, too. Federal court challenges to two harmful and discriminatory laws gave us the opportunity to replace the lies and fearmongering of the DOMA Congress and the Prop 8 proponents with truth and justice. And, the public learned, taking to heart the well-publicized lessons of court decision after court decision. Generational shifts are playing their role, but the law was the catalyst of the falling dominoes we read about every day. Hollingsworth and Windsor pushed public opinion, laying bare the emptiness of our opponents' arguments and the virulence of their hatred. There was little for politics to do other than to try and keep up.
I consider the catalytic effect of the law AFTER THE JUMP...
Senator Rob Portman's son Will, talks about his entire coming out process, from being completely closeted, to telling his best friends, to writing a letter coming out to his parents, to finally experiencing the freedom of being fully out in an essay in the Yale Daily News that will likely resonate with a lot of people.
I started talking to my dad more about being gay. Through the process of my coming out, we’d had a tacit understanding that he was my dad first and my senator a distant second. Eventually, though, we began talking about the policy issues surrounding marriage for same-sex couples.
The following summer, the summer of 2012, my dad was under consideration to be Gov. Romney’s running mate. The rest of my family and I had given him the go-ahead to enter the vetting process. My dad told the Romney campaign that I was gay, that he and my mom were supportive and proud of their son, and that we’d be open about it on the campaign trail.
When he ultimately wasn’t chosen for the ticket, I was pretty relieved to have avoided the spotlight of a presidential campaign. Some people have criticized my dad for waiting for two years after I came out to him before he endorsed marriage for gay couples. Part of the reason for that is that it took time for him to think through the issue more deeply after the impetus of my coming out. But another factor was my reluctance to make my personal life public.
We had decided that my dad would talk about having a gay son if he were to change his position on marriage equality. It would be the only honest way to explain his change of heart. Besides, the fact that I was gay would probably become public anyway. I had encouraged my dad all along to change his position, but it gave me pause to think that the one thing that nobody had known about me for so many years would suddenly become the one thing that everybody knew about me.
It has been strange to have my personal life in the headlines. I could certainly do without having my sexual orientation announced on the evening news, or commentators weighing in to tell me things like living my life honestly and fully is “harmful to [me] and society as a whole.” But in many ways it’s been a privilege to come out so publicly. Now, my friends at Yale and the folks in my dad’s political orbit in Ohio are all on the same page. They know two things about me that I’m very proud of, not just one or the other: that I’m gay, and that I’m Rob and Jane Portman’s son.
Check it all here.
Failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum was asked his opinion of Senator Rob Portman's (R-OH) decision to support marriage equality.
Said Santorum (my transcript):
"Well I'm not changing my opinion on that issue. The bottom line is that marriage is a foundational institutution of our society and one that we need to encourage for the benefit of our children and for the future of our society. Marriage is a thing of nature. Men and women come together and form the bond by which to raise the next generation. No other relationship - you can call it marriage - but no other relationship accomplishes what real marriage accomplishes. IF you want to change what marriage is. If marriage is just two people loving each other, or three or four people loving each other you can call anything marriage. But that's not what marriage is. Marriage is something of nature. It's something that every civilization in the history of man has recognized as a very valuable bedrock of society. Just because people change their mind doesn't make anything less so."
Watch this and a CNN interview, AFTER THE JUMP...
Oz the Great and Powerful obviously has some friends: it topped the box office for the second weekend in a row and with $142 million in domestic sales, it is now the highest grossing movie of the year so far.
Garbage survey in England asks about sexual orientation.
Teenagers Trent Mays & Ma’Lik Richmond have been found guilty of raping a 16-year old girl during a drunken party in Steubenville, Ohio. They may be incarcerated in juvenile facilities until they're 21.
Get a look at the off-stage antics at last night's GLAAD Media Awards, starring Anderson Cooper and Madonna.
A rehabilitated Brett Ratner, the director who stepped down from the 2012 Oscars and underwent sensitivity training after using the word "fag" during a Q&A in his movie Tower Heist, received the Ally Award at the same event last night. From his speech, "Homophobe. Bigot. Gay-basher. Ignorant frat boy. Fat, Jewish pig. I was called all of these names when I foolishly used a gay slur in a misguided attempt to be funny during an interview. Do I believe what I was called to be true? Aside from the Jewish and fat part? No, absolutely not. But I learned a valuable lesson: a word can matter, whether it's said with malice or a joke."
A young Ryan Gosling gives the Mickey Mouse club a tour of Canada.
Hoping to boost his campaign coffers, comedian-turned-Senator Al Franken's holding a raffle in which supporters can win brunch with Conan O'Brien at Conan's house.
Bad news for female journalists: "For the third year in the row, the number of male bylines and works by male writers reviewed vastly outnumbered those of women almost across the board, and a look at all data from all three years indicated that things haven’t improved over time (in fact, at several publications, the percentage of women represented decreased between 2011 and 2012)."
Despite being banned from traveling into the European Union, tyrannical Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe will cut through Italy on his way to the Vatican, where he'll attend Pope Francis' inauguration.
So much vitriol in 67 words: "In another case in the annals of conservative 'adaptation' to yesterday's liberal innovation, Ohio Republican senator Rob Portman has just announced that he now supports faux marriage. The change was motivated, he said, by his son having come out to him and his wife as a homosexual. Well, it's a good thing his son didn't announce that he was involved in bestiality. Talk about a pandering parent."
Meanwhile: "Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis has been banned from his national team for life after giving a Nazi salute while celebrating a goal in the topflight league."
Oy. Panama-based Carnival Cruises enjoys a largely unregulated freedom and tax payer-backed Coast Guard rescues.
Ick. "Lawrence Reed, the man accused of killing [Marco McMillian], appears to be laying the groundwork for a so-called "gay panic" defense, and he might just get away with it, highlighting the justice system’s troubled relationship with cases in which sexual orientation is clearly a factor."
Aww. Pug pups get baths.
David Gregory and the Meet the Press round table today spent some time discussing Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's announcement that he's bucking Republican Party policy and supports marriage equality.
One of the MTP guests, GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, was asked whether same-sex nuptials are a civil rights issue worth fighting for and whether younger Republican voters will expect their candidates to back equality. Walker's responses to both questions are text book avoidance.
First, he downplayed the idea that Portman represents a "sea change" for the party — "I think the senator's announcement made the topic timely," he said — and made it seem as if voters don't care about marriage equality anyway, "It really isn't an issue; it didn't come up in my 2010 election, it didn't come up in 2012." To the second part, whether it's a generational matter, he switched topics.
Here's transcript from ThinkProgress:
GREGORY: Are younger conservatives more apt to see marriage equality as something that is, you know, what they believe, that is basic rather than as a disqualifying issue?
WALKER: I think there’s no doubt about that. But I think that's all the more reason, when I talk about things, I talk about the economic and fiscal crises in our state and in our country, that's what people want to resonate about. They don’t want to get focused on those issues.
While Walker lets his imagination run wild, over half the country thinks marriage equality should be legal and TP's Igor Volsky notes that 83% of Americans think same-sex nuptials will be legal within the next 5-10 years, so clearly it is an issue Americans are thinking about.
No wonder former Oklahoma Gov. and fellow Republican Frank Keating disagreed with Walker and said there is a sea change, though Keating also said he wants marriage decided by the states. "That's federalism working as it should," he said.
You can watch his and the other panelists' remarks AFTER THE JUMP.