Rob Portman Hub




Santorum: Gay Marriage is No Less Unnatural Just Because Rob Portman Changed His Mind - VIDEO

Santorum

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...

Continue reading "Santorum: Gay Marriage is No Less Unnatural Just Because Rob Portman Changed His Mind - VIDEO" »


News: Steubenville, Brett Ratner, Mugabe Travels, Giorgos Katidis

1NewsIcon 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.

Oscarandy1NewsIcon Garbage survey in England asks about sexual orientation.

1NewsIcon 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.

1NewsIcon Get a look at the off-stage antics at last night's GLAAD Media Awards, starring Anderson Cooper and Madonna.

1NewsIcon 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."

1NewsIcon 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.

Lois271NewsIcon 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)."

1NewsIcon 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.

1NewsIcon 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."

1NewsIcon 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."

Cruise-ship-capsized-0121NewsIcon Oy. Panama-based Carnival Cruises enjoys a largely unregulated freedom and tax payer-backed Coast Guard rescues.

1NewsIcon 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."

1NewsIcon Aww. Pug pups get baths.


Scott Walker Sees GOP Far Removed From Reality: VIDEO

MTPPortman

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.

Continue reading "Scott Walker Sees GOP Far Removed From Reality: VIDEO" »


John Boehner 'Cannot Imagine Supporting Marriage Equality Even if His Son Was Gay: VIDEO

Boehnerportman

In an interview airing on tomorrow's edition of ABC's This Week, John Boehner, the allegedly fiscally conservative House Republican speaker who's willing to spend $3 million to fight marriage equality, tells reporter Martha Raddatz that he respects fellow Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman's decision to support his gay son, but says that he himself cannot imagine ever changing his mind on marriage equality, even if one of his own children were gay.

Watch the exchange AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "John Boehner 'Cannot Imagine Supporting Marriage Equality Even if His Son Was Gay: VIDEO" »


CPAC Attendees Blast Sen. Portman For Loving His Gay Son: VIDEO

CPACportman

While we're on the subject of CPAC and closed minds, ThinkProgress made the rounds at the conservative con-fab yesterday to gauge attendees' reaction to news that GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio supports marriage equality because he wants his gay son to have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

So, what was the reaction? Not good. One man, a pastor, even said the Senator should "quit being so selfish as to only think about his son." Because, you know, restricting an entire population's rights because of personal religious beliefs is so selfless. And grown men dressed like 18th Century colonists make great moral guides.

Watch the clip AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "CPAC Attendees Blast Sen. Portman For Loving His Gay Son: VIDEO" »


Why We Welcome Rob Portman

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Sen_portmanRob Portman is a deeply conservative man, a religious man, a "family man," as they say. After his now 21-year-old son came out as gay, it took Senator Portman (R-OH) two years and several conversations with religious leaders and numerous personal consultations with the Bible to finally do some coming out himself: as the first Republican senator to support the freedom to marry.

None of that really matters. In fact, focusing on the negatives -- how long it took him, the fact that he needed to be personally invested before supporting gay equality, and that he seems to have needed more persuading beyond the mere fact of his son's sexuality -- misses the point. 

What Rob Portman did was neither heroic nor brave, but that doesn't mean we should manifest whatever latent bitterness we have about being a discriminated minority by thinking him selfish or without sympathy. We should welcome him with open arms, thank his son for his bravery, and rededicate ourselves to creating a world in which the Will Portmans of the world feel comfortable coming out. 

The reflection and evolution that changed the Portman family are the same changes and evolutions going on in countless families across the world right now, as more bright young men and women come out and live open lives. Only our most vocal and strident opponents are haters; most mothers and fathers just can't relate. They see one man's attraction to another man as more weird and different than disgusting and diseased. But, as soon as they learn that their child or their friend is gay, they put a human face to the phenomenon and suddenly, being gay doesn't seem so strange.

And, that's really what's going on here: learning. Every coming out, whether on the cover of People or sitting by your mother's bed one night shortly after your 21st birthday (how I came out), is a moment of great learning. It is a moment that lifts a great weight from a burdened soul and begins to fill a gaping hole in the life experiences of another. It is both an end and a beginning: For us, it is often the end of a life lived as a lie; but for most of our parents, it is just the beginning of a journey. It is a journey we can neither deny them nor rush for them. We can only support them and teach them along the way.

Harvey Milk said it best. "Most importantly, ... every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family, you must tell your relatives, you must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends, you must tell your neighbors, you must tell the people you work with, you must tell the people at the stores you shop in. And, once they realize we are indeed their children and we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all. And, once you do, you will feel so much better."

2_portmanSocial scientists call this the contact theory, or the idea that interpersonal contact is the best way to improve relations between two otherwise hostile or distant groups. Because our sexual orientations are not superficially obvious and yet are no less deeply held than our races or genders, the success of the contact theory for bridging a divide between gays and heterosexuals requires a necessary first step of telling the world we're gay.

Then the journey can begin.

I remember telling my mother toward the end of our conversation the night I came out to her that I knew this might be hard and that there was no need to respond. Unlike her, I had been dealing with my sexuality for years; she only had 30 minutes. I told her to take some time, think about it, ask me any question she had (her first was adorable: "Do you have a special friend?"), and that I would drop everything at anytime to talk with her about it. Her journey was just starting, but for the first time, it was a journey neither she nor I had to go on alone.

Some of us have parents who knew we were gay all along or take the baton of our coming out and run with it to the next gay pride march or the next freedom to marry rally. A few of us sadly have parents who beat us or reject us. But most of our parents just want us to be happy and safe and to know the feeling of love and being loved. Senator Portman is probably in the last category. 

But, like my mother, who now actively and eagerly responds to her conservative friends when they say something insensitive about gay people, Senator Portman may not start screaming into megaphones at Freedom to Marry rallies, but he will balk at the hate his Party leadership has shown and still shows toward gays. For him, the Republican support for DOMA and their opposition to the freedom to marry and, we hope, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, are not just anti-gay positions, they are anti-Will Portman positions now. And that is the remarkable success story of coming out. Will Portman has allowed his father to put a loving face on a previously amorphous, distant concept. Coming out worked. We have a new ally. 


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