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Boehner, McCain Say They’ll Never Support Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

March 18th, 2013

Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that, unlike Sen. Rob Portman(R-OH), who announced that he now supports marriage equality after his son came out to him as gay, Boehner said that he “can’t imagine” ever changing his opposition to same-sex marriage:

I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” Boehner said on ABC News’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “It’s — it’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe. It’s what my church teaches me. And — I can’t imagine that position would ever change.”

…“Listen, Rob’s a great friend and a long-time ally.  And — I appreciate that he’s decided to change — his views on this.  But I believe that marriage is a union of — of a man and a woman, said Boehner.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also spoke on the issue. McCain had opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment, but only because he believed that it would have infringed on states’ rights. He voiced support for California’s Prop 8 and Arizona’s Prop 102 in 2008 as he ran for President. On Friday, McCain told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he wouldn’t be changing his mind on marriage equality anytime soon:

“I respect anyone else’s decision and we all learn in life and grow and mature. I have changed my position on other issues in my life, but on this one, I had not contemplated changing my position,” he said.

So that brings me to this point: For the life of me, I will never understand, not in a million years, the hectoring and anger from some in the gay community that greeted Portman’s change of position. Look, I’m as dyed-blue big-D Democrat as they come. If I were an Ohio resident, I’d never vote for the man, donate to his campaign, or encourage anyone else to vote for him. I wouldn’t rush out to throw him a parade, but if the Columbus Pride organizing committee wants to make him Grand Marshal, I wouldn’t object.

But that said, any time someone — anyone — who once opposed marriage quality and changes his position, that’s one person less  working against us. You’d think the implications of that would be obvious, but since it apparently isn’t I’ll spell it out. All of the legislative and electoral gains have come about because people who actively opposed us stopped doing that, and some of them now support us. Look at Maine: In 2009, voters there shot down marriage quality 53% to 47%. In three short years, six percent of Maine’s voters pulled a Portman; they switched form opposing marriage equality to supporting it, and voters approved it by the same 53% to 47% margin that they voted it down three years before.

Was Portman “selfish” for supporting same-sex marriage only after his son came out to him? Maybe. Probably. But more importantly, who the hell care? Should we poll Maine’s electorate and throw out the “selfish” votes there also? Of course not, because in politics a win is a win. And we win every time someone changes from opposing us to supporting us. Or even, as a half measure, goes from opposing us to not opposing us — that’s a half-win in my book. Portman is now one more vote in a nascent movement to repeal DOMA in Congress if the Supreme Court fails to strike down Section 3. (And besides, there’s also Section 2 that remains unchallenged so far.) Portman may also be an important voice should equality advocates in Ohio launch a ballot challenge to that state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, a move that is likely to occur, I think, sometime in the next five years.

Each move on the issue is important. But for those who want to complain and kvetch about Portman’s change, I guess they can always take comfort in knowing that McCain and Boehner won’t let them down.

Comments

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tim
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

the hectoring and anger from some in the gay community that greeted Portman’s change of position.

Really? Assuming we are defining ‘gay community’ pretty broadly – there are many that no matter what changes they will be angry and bitter. I was not surprised in the least when they stepped up and bashed this guy. Personally I stopped paying attention to them a long time ago.

Jack
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Hillary just came out for SSM this morning. Until now she has been, at least officially, for one man/one woman marriage. I don’t expect to hear a lot of people criticizing her for changing her position a la Portman.

We need to accept support however it comes.

David in Houston
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Of course I’m glad that this politician is supporting marriage equality. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with pointing out the obvious: If his son were straight, he’d still be an anti-gay non-empathetic Republican — just like the rest of them. His past anti-gay voting record speaks for itself. I have yet to hear him come out against any of the measures that he previously supported.

Unless all the other Republican politicians happen to have a gay family member, I don’t think Mr. Portman’s change of perspective is going to have much of an impact. The main fallout from this is that his own party is now going to disown him, and his pro-gay rhetoric. That you can be sure of.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

David, you’re a good example of what is wrong with many of the gay communities response to Portman. Instead of saying “That’s great” and leaving it at that you’ve got to throw a “But” in there.

Hue-Man
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

The angry bitter gays are acting like Republicans – complain but don’t offer any alternative. Portman’s only alternative was to say nothing (my time machine is currently in the shop being repaired). Let me weigh the two alternatives: anti-gay rights senior GOP politician vs. pro-gay rights senior GOP politician. Am I allowed to say “DUH”?

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Jim-

You certainly give Portman more credit than he gives even himself. He has already said he will not lead on the issue, AND he has stated that he may or may not support a marriage equality legislation in Ohio, it all depends, he says, on what religious caveats are thrown in, because he doesn’t want to force his view on anyone else.

I also find it very telling that today we wake up with a report from Repbulicans talking about hw they now have to adjust their views on Gay marriage, only because it looses them elections with younger people.

Now, I can accept the changes, but what you and others often forget is that for some people (myself included) sudden reversals for reasons such as Portmans are welcomed, but You expect far too much of us mere humans, in expecting 100 percent that there won’t be criticism. When these changes occur suddenly, you have to allow for the changes of emotion that people deal with. There is a grief and reaction period that should be expected in these reversals of out right active foes of the equality movement.

I’m glad that you and Priya Lynnn are far more superior to other LGBT’s in that you can turn off your emotions and accept these things so easily. For some of us, well, we want to see some actual action and leadership. All those things you THINK Portman might be a part of are great, but you ignore his own statements on the issue. He still believes it’s a states right issue and should be voted on by the general public. He has said he will not take any leadership on this issue at all. He said he may not support Equality measures in Ohio unless there are well carved out “religious” exceptions. He has made NO indication on his view of DOMA that I can find.

It isn’t a matter of Not wanting his support, or of being appreciative of his change of heart, but a matter of reconciling who he has ACTIVELY portrayed himself for the last decade, and the man he presents himself as today.

ANY assumptions or assertions that we greet every change of heart without some form of scepticism is ridiculous. You seem to expect people to forget the past and embrace these sudden changes as if their had been no damage done by these new converts.

The Mehlmans, Frums, Whitmans (Megs, not Christine Todd’s…) and other ACTIVE foes who change have some fixing and action to do. Sorry, but I and many others, think they need to make a movement of fixing the things THEY helped do.

And to ecpect that their NOT be this dialouge on LGBT sites is naive at the very best.

Yes, people might laugh at the comparrison, but I advise you to take a look at that old Star Trek Movie, Undiscoverd Country, and take a look at the themes discussed. In these types of situations one must allow for the change to be processed and aqccepted, forcing it isn’t going to make it happen. Fostering discussion on the issue will.

It took Portman TWO YEARS to change his view PUBLICLY after his son came out. If you can allow for that time, then surely you can allow your own community more than three or four days to come to some type of peace with it. Accepting someone who was your enemy for decades is going to take more than a few days.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

You’re right Robert, I have no problem not letting my emotions get in the way of what’s best for the gay and lesbian community.

People like you and David are letting the past poison the future. I understand your need to fulfill your desire for revenge, I just think its sad and unfortunate for American gays and lesbians.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

David, the Republican Party leader Priebus came out yesterday or today and said that the party supportsw his change of heart and that the National Party will still support his endeavors. Their recent report on what went wrong in the last election also came out and said that they have to loosen their views on Marriage Equality due to it being a loosing argument for them with younger voters (Like Frum, the concern is now because it looses them elections). I’ll take that change of policy, but with all these sudden shifts I’d be wary of these opinions being honestly held. But I do not think it will be detrimental to Portman’s carrer as a politico.

And THAT is a good thing, change is here and it’s not as easy to accept, especially from some of the most vcal past adversaries. They are welcome changes but they will take a bit of time to process, despite others protestations that we have no public reservations as to the veracity of these new views.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn-

STOP putting words in my mouth. I don’t do that to you. I have not indicated or stated a need for “revenge”. That’s in your head, not mine.

What I have stated is that these changes will take some time to process and accept. And people like you who berate others for not being able to process things as easily as you somehow turns those others into revenge seekers.

No one is asking for revenge. They ARE expressing their suprise and reservations.

Good for YOU that you are so far superior to your fellow LGBT that you can do things so easily that it takes others time to deal with.

You accept that it took Portman TWO YEARS to come to this position after his son came out, but expect us to say, good, okay, you are now fine by us. That is unreasonable expectations.

This point in the battle for our rights was always inevitable. A point in which people whoa ctively fought us change their views and we have to learn to reconcile their new view with their past years of action. It might be easy for you but some of us take time to process sudden changes.

Glad you can accomodate your past adversaries changes, but can’t allow some time for others in our community to adjust to this new found view.

The piousity is astounding.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“They are welcome changes but they will take a bit of time to process, despite others protestations that we have no public reservations as to the veracity of these new views.”.

That’s a straw man. No one is saying you shouldn’t have reservations. What we’re saying is that its counterproductive to beat these people up and greet their change of position with loud “I don’t believe you.”‘s.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. The last thing American gays and lesbians need is other anti-marriage Republicans thinking “Why should I bother changing my position? They’ll hate and abuse me anyway.”.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“You accept that it took Portman TWO YEARS to come to this position after his son came out, but expect us to say, good, okay, you are now fine by us. That is unreasonable expectations.”.

Now who’s putting words into who’s mouth?

I never claimed you said you were looking for revenge but I do think that is the case. I never put words in your mouth but I don’t believe you if you’re claiming revenge isn’t part of your motive.

I never asked you to say “Good, Okay, you are now fine by us”, I asked you to keep quiet if you can’t just respond with a “Thanks for changing your position.”.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya…. You claim you never said that Robert was looking for revenge, but that’s actually entirely what you wrote:

“I understand your need to fulfill your desire for revenge”

Cmon, you can do better.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn, would you care to retract your lie in the last post that you NEVER claimed I was looking for revenge? Here’s that pesky fact in the post you wrote, where you claim to understand my need for revenge.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK
You’re right Robert…..

I understand your need to fulfill your desire for revenge, I just think its sad and unfortunate for American gays and lesbians.

Goodness, you can’t even remenber what you posted a few minutes ago. You claim I ffel the way I do for revenge and then claim you never said it.

And silence on an issue is the same as tacit approval. Anyone that demands a stop to the conversation or a complete avoidance of it, doesn’t really have the community interests at heart. DEALING with this sudden change and the emotions it illicits is an INTEGRAL part of moving forward. We as a community MUST discuss these changes and the emotional impact they have on us. Much like PTSD the emotional toll of these changes in allies is something that has to be dealt with, publicly, or we won’t know how to move forward.

And please, keep lying about what you say. It obviously escapes you what you wrote just a few short minutes ago.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Dn, what I said was “I never claimed YOU SAID you were looking for revenge.”(I didn’t put words in his mouth) but I certainly did say I believe he is fulfilling a desire for revenge.

MattNYC
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Regarding Hillary’s change, she did not make the change due to Chelsea coming out. She made it because she–shockingly–knows LGBT people and the parents of these people. (OK, yes, she REALLY made the change because she stuck her finger to the wind.)

I won’t be voting for her in a primary for a fairly long list of reasons, but this is not one of them (anymore).

And–again–I NEVER said I don’t welcome Sen. Portman’s support nor do I underestimate the political risk involved (he still has four years for the wing-nuts to blow themselves apart before he has to worry). But I will not say that he’s “courageous” for defending the rights of his flesh-and-blood. He’d be a coward otherwise (see: Alan Keyes, Randall Terry–I don’t include Phyllis Schlafly, because her pathetic son actually works for her and publicly supports her views).

This is the opinion of one gay man–I do not represent the community. In fact, were I a representative of ANY LGBT organization, I would more likely extend at least a note of thanks to Sen. Portman and a hope that he would further come about and become an active supporter of M.E. for the sake of his son and for the sake of the sons and daughters of millions of OTHER Americans.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

OH, I get it, Priya, you just used semantics to say you never said that I CLAIMED a need for revenge, just that you thought I had the desire.

You are as oily as the opponents.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert, go back and read both of my statements. There’s a difference between saying “You said (a)” and “I believe (a)”.

And, no you don’t have to discuss how much you doubt and dislike Republicans who’ve changed their position. And if you think you do you most certainly don’t have to do it on a public forum that gives ammunition to the anti-gays who’ll say “See, it doesn’t matter what position we take, the gays will crap on us anyway, they just want to destroy marriage.”.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“OH, I get it, Priya, you just used semantics to say you never said that I CLAIMED a need for revenge, just that you thought I had the desire.”.

There’s nothing unethical about me making such a statement after you falsely accused me of putting words in your mouth – I did not.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Matt, every time you make a public display you are representing the gay community to someone.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert, if not a desire for revenge then what is your motivation for posting all these “reservations”, “I don’t believe you.”‘s and trivializations of changes in positions such as Portmans?

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya-

First, your semantics backflips are impressive. Keep spinning that comment, you sound like Karl Rove blathering about OHIO.

And what a fucking sad day in Gay History. I’m on a LGBT site that has people telling me that it’s not the proper place to talk about LGBT issues as they occur, how they affect us and what we think of the issues.

How about we just turn off the comments, Priya Lynn says if you can’t say anything nice then you shouldn’t say anything at all. WOW.

No discussion of the issue. No introspection, not discussion on how to deal with these sudden wins in changes of opinions.

Long fights like the fight for Equality become entrenched, and as such, when long time active adversaries turn into overnight allies, you damn well better expect that it’s gonna cause a sudden influx of contrasting human emotions. These issues NEED to be discussed.

Sorry to see that some would rather we skulk in the shadows, or just not saying anything at all.

That’s pretty ripe.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Well, it seems my post is awaiting moderation, but I’d like to repeat my question to Jim: In the spirit of fact-checking, could you please direct me to the hectoring and anger you’re referring to?

Has a prominent commentator written a hectoring and angry piece? If so, a link that substantiates that claim would be greatly appreciated.

Or are you perhaps referring to the comments in this thread, the 100+ comment thread of Timothy’s, or the 83 comment thread on David Frum? If so, then my response is “so?” Forgive me, but nobody’s calling up CNN with the hot tip that people on the internet are disagreeing with each other – and they’re not being as polite as they would probably be in real life!

I suspect that what’s going on is that some people are saying what I’m saying, which is, “this is good news, but I haven’t forgotten the damage this man’s politics has done to a great number of people. So while I welcome his help, I have to question his motives, and I welcome his forthcoming contrition.” That’s what I’ve gotten from Robert’s and Andrew’s comments, at least (correct me if I’m wrong, guys). But BTB has been remarkably defensive the past couple weeks on this.

Maybe you guys have lost sight a little bit on the fact that everyone reads and interprets things differently than everyone else. BTB’s interpretations of things (and yes I know you’re not one monolithic entity) is not the only way to see the world. And when someone like Robert, or Matt, or David, or Andrew, or myself comes along with a different take on things, it does not mean they are in opposition to you.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Keep spinning Priya. You accused me of wanting revenge. I stated I didn’t want revenge and it was you putting words in my mouth.

You are a liar.

Now I know to just ignore your postsw as you can’t seem to accept responsibility for your own words. You try to twist your way out of something. You sound like the right wing when they get caught in a lie. You certainly have learned from Maggie Gallagher and others how to twist words. Good for you.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Bullsh*t Robert. You accused me of putting words in your mouth, it is not a “semantic backflip” or spin for me to state the truth that I did no such thing. If you think you can falsely accuse me of “putting words in your mouth” and not have me correct you you can go f yourself.

“I’m on a LGBT site that has people telling me that it’s not the proper place to talk about LGBT issues as they occur,”.

A gross distortion of what I said similar to your false claim that I put words in your mouth. There’s a big difference between saying “Your complaints on this issue are counterproductive and you should keep them to yourself” and saying “Don’t discuss any LGBT issues here.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

DN-

You have my view somewhat right.

My point is that these changes are, psycologically, going to take some time to process. When one has been your enemy for an extended period of time, suddenly changes into a ally, it will take peole time to process and accept.

The reservations and doubts are legitimate. We fought every word that came out of some people’s mouths for years. It is disengenious for anyone to expect that that would change overnight. Discussing the issue is the ONLY way to rsolve the lingering doubts and to clear the bad air.

Seems some would rather we hold our doubts and keep them to ourselves. But stiffling discussion and growth is detrimental to the overall well being of the Community.

Some would rather we just go along to get along, and NOT discuss our concerns or reservations, for suddenly that type of conversation is “damaging”.

Funny, when we held Obama’s feet to the fire to ACT on his new dound views it was considered what we needed to do, but now when we waqnt to jhold others to the standards we held our own, we are doing damage to the community. Laughable at best.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“You accused me of wanting revenge. I stated I didn’t want revenge and it was you putting words in my mouth.”.

Stop being so childish. Me saying I think you want revenge is in no way “putting words” in your mouth. You can deny that that is your motivation but there’s no way you can truthfully say I put those words in your mouth – you are the liar and an extremely childish one at that.

Now, as to your motivation, why are you afraid to answer my question?:

If not a desire for revenge then what is your motivation for posting all these “reservations”, “I don’t believe you.”‘s and trivializations of changes in positions such as Portmans?

You’re reluctant to answer that question because you can’t think of any other motivation for your posts yourself.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

And see, Robert? You and I have built out a couple other facets in the discussion. I think that’s a good thing, and it should be valued (prized, frankly).

Your point about the PTSD is a good one, and it’s something I would never have thought of it on my own. Without these discussions, it wouldn’t have happened. And the part that is hilarious to me, is that I don’t see myself at odds with Portman, Frum, or Whitman. I do see myself at odds with a few claims Timothy made on this topic, but big deal. But for some reason, there are so many on these threads that will just stomp on anyone who tries to add to the discussion. Truly sad.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn-

I never, in any comment discussed a need for revenge, or that we “do” something to these new converts, no where did I demand ANY form of revenge.

I discussed the reservations I might have, and YOU decided that in your view that met a definition of “revenge”. And then you lay this huge whopper out there, insinusating that I had a desire for revenge.

“I understand your need to fulfill your desire for revenge”

You are being dishonest in your self-defense. YOU made a claim that this was about revenge for me. I NEVER indicated or asked for any actions against these individuals. YOU imply I want revenge.

You really have been paying attention to those strawman arguments you talked about recently. You learned it so well you don’t recognize it when you do it.

You are a liar, and a semantical back flipper. I won’t respond to YOUR lies anymore. Keep spinning it, everyone can read what you wrote, and they will see the truth.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “The reservations and doubts are legitimate.”.

No one said they weren’t.

Robert said “It is disengenious for anyone to expect that that would change overnight.”.

Straw man, no one asked you to change your beliefs overnight, you were just asked to stop assaulting people who’ve joined our side with your doubts and trivializations.

Robert said “Discussing the issue is the ONLY way to rsolve the lingering doubts and to clear the bad air.”.

Nonsense. There’s been plenty of discussion on this, you’ve ranted endlessly and been responded to and its had no effect on your lingering doubts and is only PRODUCING bad air. You’re not going to feel any different in one month, two months, or one year, the only impact of your constant complaints and trivializations is to provide ammo to those who would discourage other Republicans from coming over to our side.

Robert said “Seems some would rather we hold our doubts and keep them to ourselves. But stiffling discussion and growth is detrimental to the overall well being of the Community.”.

There’s no growth to be had from people in our community bad mouthing Republicans who’ve changed positions just because it fulfills their sense of revenge.

Robert said “Funny, when we held Obama’s feet to the fire to ACT on his new dound views it was considered what we needed to do, but now when we waqnt to jhold others to the standards we held our own, we are doing damage to the community.”.

Oh, bullsh*t. You never gave Obama remotely anywhere near the grief for being on our side you’ve given Republicans for being on our side. Show us a comparable anti-Obama rant you made after he came out in support of marriage equality in the summer/fall of 2012 – you can’t do it.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya-

I have sufficently explained why i am discussing the issue, you just choose to ignore it. eiter willfully or because it eludes your grasp. Seems to me that others understand what I am saying.

I say that the health of the community depends on talking about EVERY issue, and how they affect us. Trying to stifle the discussion by deeming us as damaging gays is faulty.

You and others seem to only want the pretty part of us to be on display. WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS. We react and respond accordingly. Discussing the PTSD and other types of issues that will ONLY continue to grow from these changes is EXACTLY what the long term health of our community needs. I’ve fought for over 30 years for LGBT equality, and as such these sudden shifts can be quite challenging. Too bad you don’t want to support the health and well being of ALL the community.

I won’t be silent just because you think it’s not something we should be talking about in polite society.

Our words will be twisted by our opponents no matter what we say or do, so halting this discussion does NO ONE any good.

Except it allows some to be more pious than others.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“I never, in any comment discussed a need for revenge, or that we “do” something to these new converts, no where did I demand ANY form of revenge.”.

I never said you did, a*hole. YOU falsely claimed I said you did say that. YOU are a liar, not me.

“I discussed the reservations I might have, and YOU decided that in your view that met a definition of “revenge”. And then you lay this huge whopper out there, insinusating that I had a desire for revenge.”.

No whopper, that is what I believe. You are welcome to dispute that that is your motivation but its certainly no lie that I believe it IS your motivation.

YOU are the liar, not me. You’re trying to twist my words into something I didn’t say. You are a semantic backflipper. You sound like the right wing when they get caught in a lie. You certainly have learned from Maggie Gallagher and others how to twist words.

MattNYC
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Matt, every time you make a public display you are representing the gay community to someone.

1. I have nothing to be embarrassed about anything I have posted here.

2. If I had to self-censor myself because Brian Brown or Porno Pete is lurking on this site, then we might as well flip the “off” switch.

Of course, compare the comments here to anything on Fox Nation, Freep, or even Yahoo, and I am more than happy that we have a chance to (mostly) talk amongst ourselves instead of dealing with harangues from the anti-gays. I actually appreciate those opponents of ours in the past who have posted in this space–when done respecfully. But again, I am not here to please their eyes and ears nor those within our community.

I generally enjoy your contributions. Not sure why this has stuck in your craw.

MR Bill
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

(Sigh). What Jim B. is asking for here is less of a Tribal LGBT response, and more of that classical virtue, Magnanimity in Victory.
That Portman has a record on this issues to justify some angry response (and no doubt partisans in his home state are permitted such reactions) doesn’t really diminish his point.
But we live in jerky, and ignoble times, and the conversation of the community (and criticism of that community) is the work of the writer. He’s askin’ us to behave in a way he thinks better.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn-

You have no idea what I took Obam to task for, please don’t think you do.

I wrote a multitude of letters to the White House over LGBT issues prior to his big change. I challenged his views on many websites, prior to ACTION on those changes. I was banned form a few liberal sites because I dared to question the President’s commitment to our cause.

I was even met with the sqame ridiculous statemet like the ones here,
“It only damages us and makes Obama’s chance to win re-election if we don’t all get on board” or “How would a President Romney deal with that”.

Please, you and some others are the masters of silencing dissent.

Keep up the disengenious lying and backflipping to get out of your own words.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert, the appropriate place for you to discuss your issues is with a psychiatrist, not here in public where your constant bitter complaining and trivializations of Republicans comming to our side discourage other anti-marriage people from making the same change.

You know as well as I do that your constant rants have not and will not change how you feel about Republicans such as Portman regardless of how people dispute you so there is no heatlh benefit to you or the community from this non-stop feces flinging.

The only purpose I can conceive this serving for you is to make you feel like “Yeah, I got back at that bstard, now no one will think he’s a good guy for this change in position.”.

The idea that you’re doing this “for the health of the community” or to “clear the air” is laughable.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Pious Lynn-

Whatever, You lie and expect me to grovel as if my views are un acceptable. Whatever.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“You have no idea what I took Obam to task for, please don’t think you do.”.

Oh, I’m pretty sure I do. But just in case I’m wrong I asked you to post it. No surprise that you’re reluctant to do so.

“I wrote a multitude of letters to the White House over LGBT issues prior to his big change.”.

Yeah, PRIOR! That’s why I asked you to post a diatribe you sent to obama AFTER he came out in support of marriage equlity so we can compare it to the diatribes you’ve posted about Portman and other Republicans AFTER they came out in support of marriage equality. Let’s compare apples to apples, not this “What I wrote to Obama before he supported marriage” compared to “what I wrote about portman after he supported marriage” stuff.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Is she still talking?

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“Whatever, You lie”.

Oh, bullsh*t Robert. We’ve been over this several times. You and I both know I told the truth, it was you who lied by claiming I put words in your mouth but you’re too damn childish to back down and admit you were wrong.

“and expect me to grovel as if my views are un acceptable.”.

Another straw man. I never asked you to grovel and I don’t think your views are unacceptable. In fact I agree with the vast majority of points you’ve made about these Republicans changing their positions. I just think you’re only harming the community by expressing these ideas publically and giving ammunition to anti-marriage people who would discourage other Republicans from changing positions.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

MR Bill-

Point taken. My issue with this particular article is the assumptions made as to where Portman will stand or what this will do in terms of the overall issue.

That and the fact that I think ANY call for people to stay silent is the wrong call. If we don’t discuss the issues we face, warts and all, we don’t move forward.

But these types of disagreements over what to do and what not to do in our community have been around since we became a community. And I expect they always will be. We dealt with it during the early days when their was s division with the “community” as a whole and the Mattachine Society. We faced it during the days of ACT UP and the division that caused in that time. We now see it in the GOProud portion against the more liberal sides.

But keeping quiet about the issues and concerns NEVER got us anywhere. I don’t see why anyone thinks it did, or thinks it might.

No one has asked for it, but even if we DID throw him a Parade, exalt him, and showwer him with praise, our words would still be misused by our detractors. Even our best has been misused against us. Suddenly being quiet isn’t going to change that.

My participation in this discussion has far less to do with PORTMAN as an individual, but the call to silence this conversation as if it is not warranted.

Our discussions as a community should be held in the full light of day. Warts and all. Our opponents, like NOM and AFA and others hold their discussion in the dark of night, with NO light shed on them. I think open discussion is best, and will argue against silencing it vehemently.

Ben in Oakland
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I wish you two would agree to disagree. It wears me out.

But that’s me.

I just wrote this concerning the change of the Rev. rob Bell. The same idea applies.

first, Rev. Bell, thank you.

However (and you knew that was coming….

” . . . you have to come face to face with some of the ways we’ve talked about God, which don’t actually shape people into more loving, compassionate people. And we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent.”

Ya think?

What do you think we’ve been complaining about forthe past 50-150 years? The perverse twisting of scripture beyond any recognition to make it say something it never said about gay people? The unrelenting, fact-free, reality-free, logic-free, compassion free attacks on gay people as enemies and dangers to everything that is good, right, moral, and holy? Blaming us for every possible social ill, no matter how fact free the connection? Taking a mere social prejudice, ancient and durable, and turning it into the one and only sin that can never be forgiven?

I could go on and on,but you know where this is going.

Repentance is all very nice, and thank you for it. But frankly, that’s not about us, it’s all about YOU, and your need to get right with your god, or at least to get right with the conscience that any morally conscious person ought to consult before attacking innocent others.

Let’s talk about what will benefit US. Let’s talk about apologies, lets talk about amends, lets talk about an active effort to undo the damage of 2000 years of antigay hatred.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

What a hack you are, you can’t even read the whole paragraph on Obam, you know the part where I talk about holding his feet to the fire prior to actual, you know, ACTION. When Obama put his words to action I stopped putting his feet to the fire because he carried through on his speech to ACTION. It’s right there in the comment.

“I wrote a multitude of letters to the White House over LGBT issues prior to his big change. I challenged his views on many websites, prior to ACTION on those changes. I was banned form a few liberal sites because I dared to question the President’s commitment to our cause.

you really are a hack. Taking half quotes out of context to infer I only acted until he spoke up. You are a hack, leave me alone.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert, as we’ve already seen, no amount of discussion is going to change how you feel about these Republicans changing positions and I’m fine with you feeling that way – I don’t blame you.

The only thing posts like yours are going to do is to make other Republicans considering a change to our side more hesitant to do so.

There is no benefit to our community to constantly be airing such complaints. Its not going to change how you feel, its only shooting ourselves in the foot.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

BEN in Oakland:

Okay, I agree to disagree.

Don’t want to wear you out, you have too often provided good insights. Gotta keep you sharp!!

;)

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

““I wrote a multitude of letters to the White House over LGBT issues prior to his big change. I challenged his views on many websites, prior to ACTION on those changes.”.

If that’s true then let’s see one of those diatribes you wrote AFTER he supported marriage equality so we can compare it to what you’ve said about Republicans after they’ve come to our side. After all this BS about you falsely claiming I put words in your mouth I’m not going to take your word for anything.

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

This is not a simple conversation, and I reject hectoring by those who wish to make it so.

Tim: your analogy to the Maine vote is a false analogy and unsound with respect to the structure of a democratic republic. A voter represents themselves. A Senator is supposed to read the Constitution and vows to uphold it – for all the citizens. Your error is actually built into the Constitution deliberately. That’s why we have a House of Reps – because the founders mistrusted the votes of the masses and placed higher trust in a group devoted to more thoughtful contemplation. It’s not critical to the validity of your argument, but it took me a while to figure out what bothered me about that.

I saw the interview on CNN (note: if you haven’t seen the interview on CNN please see it before posting here so you know what you’re talking about). The interviewer impressed me by questioning his timing relative to the election, and relative to the fact that the change was great for his son, but wouldn’t another constituent in his community have the right to ask “what about me, why didn’t you consider me before”. His response was that his focus was elsewhere (other topics, like finance), but that this issue brought this into sharp focus for him.

I accept those answers as they speak to the man’s character. I truly believe Portman was reflexively opposed to gays beforehand, and I honestly think this caused him to think about this in a way he’d never had to before. He’s doing this before a SCOTUS decision, and while still running for office, so he’s putting his neck out there. He’s got skin in the game. And Portman is not Mehlman is not Whitman – it’s not all or none.

Most news outlets have been pretty superficial – about 3 sentences: one talking about the switch, one talking about Portman’s previous support for DOMA and the Constitutional Amendment, and one talking about the perception that the GOP needs to play catchup. THAT media coverage is what concerns me most – that lack of nuance. The implication that someone is binary in their gay thinking and are suddenly “pro-gay”.

We don’t know, for example, where Portman stands on gay adoption – he has opposed that in the past and acted to prevent it. Portman co-sponsored the anti-gay legislation… is he now going to co-sponsor the bills to kill DOMA? If not, why not? How far does his newfound support go? Does he get a “free pass” because he’s moved part way, or do we engage in nuance and give him partial credit? DO WE AT LEAST THINK TO ASK THE QUESTION?

Our allies and our friends do not exist in a binary pair of lists – it’s a spectrum, and that requires questions, thought, and different responses.

I mean, think about it – you have 3 neighbors – one’s been your friend for 20 years, one’s been throwing rocks through your windows for 20 years, and one has said “I think you have the right to live near me”. The guy with the rocks suddenly declares one day that he’s going to stop throwing rocks at you because he’s discovered it’s wrong. To which do you give housekeys? Who gets a dinner invite? Who stops getting eggs thrown at their house?

Just a quick note: who the hell supports amending the Constitution without that being a matter of careful deliberation and study? Not a bad person perhaps, but a bad steward of the Constitution, to be certain. I want people with the power to amend that document to spend a great deal of time studying and considering. His answer convinced me that, as a man, he’s sincere, but I don’t think he should be one of the 100 people sitting in that governing body if he’s that careless with our founding document.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn-

I have NO issue with anyone changing their position to one of inclusion. That has NEVER been my problem. It is the approach some are asking that we take in dealing with these reversals that has me up in arms, not the reversals themselves.

YOU keep saying I have an issue with the reversals, it is not true. The majority of my friends and family are conservative republicans, and I have gone through these changes with them, just as Mr Portman and his sone have done. But I challenge my friends to undo any negatives they have done. And they seem to understand that request.

My issue is with people telling others that their concerns need to be addressed in the back channels, in the dark, outside public view. THAT is the wrong way. Doing things in the dark of night or in the shadows because our honestly discussing the issue “might” be used against us. well, EVERYTHING WE SAY OR DO IS USED AGAINST US, so what the hell differecne does it make now? And after all the talk about Frum, it didn’t seem to keep Mr Portman from speaking about his conversion, so saying taking about our concerns does damage is a flasehood.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

As an Oscar-winning screenwriter, I’d like to submit the following Public Service Announcement, to be screened at all state and federal party conventions:

Scene: Interior, dining room, dinner time with a Republican politician and his wife.

Politician: “Honey, you know, I’ve thought a lot about gay rights, and you know I’m pretty liberal socially… I’ve decided that tomorrow, I’m going to announce my support for gay marriage.”

Wife, opening her laptop: “No, you can’t do that! Robert on the internet will question your motives!”

Politician: “No, dear, it’s OK. Priya Lynn has my back.”

Wife, heaving a sigh of relief: “Oh, well in *that* case, let’s open some pinot noir.”

Ben in Oakland
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks, Robert.

Andrew, you have it exactly right. That’s exactly what I was trying to say in my post referring to rob bell.

MattNYC
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

DN,

;)

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“EVERYTHING WE SAY OR DO IS USED AGAINST US,”.

Oh come on now. You know such a gross generalization is often wrong. Its clear how these bashings can be used to discourage other Republicans from changing positions, can you give us a plausible scenario in which not bashing Republicans who change their positions discourages others from changing to our side? No, you can’t, “EVERYTHING WE SAY OR DO IS USED AGAINST US” is obviously nonsense in this case.

“And after all the talk about Frum, it didn’t seem to keep Mr Portman from speaking about his conversion, so saying taking about our concerns does damage is a flasehood.”.

You know, I’m really surprised to see you arguing at this level, I’ve come to expect much more of you. The feces flinging at Frum didn’t seem to keep Portman from changing his position but what proof do you have that it hasn’t discouraged other Republicans from making that change? You’re obviously in no position to be claiming its a falsehood to say this bashing discourages Repulicans from changing their position to support.

You can’t honestly say that if you were considering changing a long held position and you saw someone getting bashed over and over and over again for making such a change that it wouldn’t make you think twice about doing it yourself.

And what happened to your statement about eight posta ago that you weren’t going to respond to me anymore?

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I really like Andrew’s rock throwing analogy, but I do have a slight quibble…

The best neighbor of the three has shown something of a dark side in the past: He would tell us he was our friend, and then turn around and do bad things to us, in the name of political expediency.

The Democrats haven’t always been bffs to the gay community. In 2008, I fully, 100%, completely, expected Obama’s support of gays to get thrown under the bus. I expected DADT repeal to be shelved, Matthew Shepard / James Byrd to go nowhere, and ENDA to languish forever. I was wrong, wrong, wrong, and have never been happier to be wrong.

Now as for Andrew’s neighbor who is actively throwing rocks? I have no such quibble with that characterization.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

oh woops – I just realized one could interpret my three “wrong”s to mean I was wrong about all three of those issues. I know ENDA continues to languish. As does the gay immigration bill (although Section 3 of DOMA might make that bill moot).

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I wouldn’t be looking at internet comment boards for any validation of my views if I were changing them. Too bad some put too much worth in others views that they can’t honestly state theirs.

I don’t need the approval of commentary on the internet to stand by what I thinkor feel, my statements here should prove that fact. Too bad some might hold back on publicly expressing their views. The opinions struck by their own side in articles and commentary do more damage than the questions that arise in these discussions by us.

And YES, EVERYTHING WE SAY AND DO IS USED AGAINST US. If you don’t believe that, you’ve been sleeping under a rock.

gsingjane
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I know I said this earlier and I have no wish to get immersed in the back-and-forth on this but… from the perspective of someone who (although not in powerful public office, thankfully) went through a fairly similar evolution, don’t think that every single time Sen. Portman made a decision or formed an opinion about GLBT issues, he was really even paying attention to what he was doing. My guess is, about 99% of the time, he was “going along to get along,” and that’s what about 99% of the non-GLBT or ally population does, too. It’s better now than it was, but certainly 10 or even 5 years ago, if it didn’t have anything to do with your life – that’s about how much attention you paid to it.

I know it is tempting to feel that “our” issues should be “their” issues, but the truth of it is, most of the time, they’re not. I know they should be, I’m not quibbling with that, but the truth is, they aren’t.

Where a lot of the pain and anger seems to be coming from on this, seems to stem from the fact that people believe Sen. Portman’s opinions (prior to his recent shift) were deeply held and well-considered. That he took actions and held positions that evidenced a callous disregard, if not outright hatred, towards the gay community, and now he needs to be taken to task for it, and sternly so. I know he shouldn’t have been the way he was, before now, but again based on what I’ve seen of people evolving, mostly they don’t evolve away from strongly-held conviction. Mostly what people have done, before they “see the light,” is just not care one way or the other. But now they do care.

One thing we often talk about in PFLAG is that parents grow “rabbit ears;” you might have heard anti-gay jokes or comments your whole life, but never really cared about it too much, certainly not enough to say anything. All of a sudden, when you find out your own child is gay, it becomes deeply personal, and all of a sudden, when the subject comes up, you go on red alert.

It’s not right not to care about your fellow human beings, and certainly we have the right to expect better of our elected representatives. But if Sen. Portman shares anything with most of the parents I’ve known, it’s that until it became personal, it was just a lot easier to go along with the homophobic messages you heard, and internalized, all your life.

I’ll bet you that Sen. Portman grew his own set of rabbit ears, and I’ll also bet you he’s going to be a whole different guy from here on. He might not even be perfectly evolved yet, think of that!

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“Now as for Andrew’s neighbor who is actively throwing rocks? I have no such quibble with that characterization.”.

Neither do I. However I would say if you were in such a position the best thing to do would be to thank him for stopping or say nothing and the worst thing to do would be to spend weeks upon weeks ranting at him about what a terrible person he has been, probably still is and that you don’t believe he’s going to stop throwing rocks and if he does stop its only because he’s afraid of the police not because he thinks he’s been doing something wrong.

Ben In Oakland
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

bang on, jane.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “And YES, EVERYTHING WE SAY AND DO IS USED AGAINST US.”.

That is not only obviously wrong, its incredibly childish. Really Robert – grow up. Based on that justification there’s no reason not to rape, steal, murder, and pillage to your hearts content. How F’n stupid can you get.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Once again Robert, I challenge you:

Give us a plausible scenario in which saying to Portman “Thanks for changing your mind.”. can be used to discourage other Republicans from changing positions.

As you say, that should be no problem for you unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, so why are you hiding from the challenge?

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya come on, you’re better than this…

“Based on that justification there’s no reason not to rape, steal, murder, and pillage to your hearts content”

How about the justification is that I think it’s wrong to abridge someone’s rights in each of those scenarios? The fact that someone is listening or not doesn’t even enter the question.

“I *so* would love to murder that old lady walking out of the Safeway, but darnit, someone will see me and use it against me.”

Seriously, you can do better.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Go harass someone else. Pious Liar.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Also, I posted twice, but something is catching a filter so I’m going to use different words…

Please cite evidence (outside of internet comments) of the ranting and feces-flinging of Rob Portman.

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Actually, DN, to make my analogy work, you’d have to cover the whole neighborhood… spectrum, remember? Maybe more like 10 neighbors to really get down to it.

But, and here’s my quibble with both Tim and Priya, that’s my choice. You don’t understand my “testing” the veracity, sincerity, and sufficiency of each conversion? That’s fine. I don’t understand the blinders-on, tell-me-what-I-want-to-hear optimism.

Honestly, I think some think that this signals victory. I feel more like it signals progress. There’s a difference.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

No one accepted David Blankenhorn overnight for his sudden change in views. It took him actively stating his positions were wrong and doing the work to change what he has wrought. Somehow others get more of a pass.

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya, I might not rant about what a bad person, but I’m not going to abandon my trip to small claims court to ask him to pay for the windows he already broke.

Priya, you said Give us a plausible scenario in which saying to Portman “Thanks for changing your mind.”. can be used to discourage other Republicans from changing positions.

It won’t. What it will do is to show them that all they have to do is mouth the words and then, when the attention is off, quietly work to thwart us on this or other issues. For some, it can easily be a way to get the heat of public scrutiny (especially of the mildly pro-gay straight not-really-paying-attention community) off and remain in office. It can be a way for politicians to claim a mantle in a debate against a truly pro-gay politician that they do not deserve, and make it difficult for the voting public to distinguish between them.

For the record, I did thank Portman for his change in views. I did include a caveat about how I wish he’d been more attentive to this in the past, but that we look forward to more of him as a parent of a gay man going forward. I say that to him. And here, to you, I say – good on him. But don’t take your eyes off him, make sure he doesn’t backslide, and if he does, crucify him as a fraud.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Very valid point about the whole neighborhood. I was just operating under the parameters you’d laid out, but I see where you were just trying to get a point across without having to build the entire block.

I like to use a dog analogy. Is it smart to go running up to a doberman and try to play with it and give it cuddles? Probably not. Is it safe with a black lab? Probably.

In both cases, there is a risk of getting bitten, and in both cases, one should approach the dog with caution, granting tentative trust until real trust is earned.

The difference is in how much tentative trust you’re willing to grant. Dobermans have a history of being bred and trained for the express purpose of attacking. Black labs… not so much.

So when one political party says they support gays and then they go and sign DOMA, it’s like a previously friendly black lab suddenly turned on you. You’re left hurt and the amount of trust you will grant is greatly reduced.

And when the other political party says “gay marriage is out of the question and we’re writing it into the platform,” well don’t be surprised when that dog bites… because it has been trained to bite, and has told us it will bite.

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

DN – as a dog owner (of a lovable pitbull who does not bite people), I’d actually say you need to treat each dog on a case-by-case basis. Always ask the owner “is he friendly?” before sticking your hand out.

You need to ask the question, not make assumption by the breed, if you catch my drift.

An example, by the way, of a backslide, would be for Portman to fine-tune his pro-gay-marriage by asserting state’s rights on gay marriage.

Given that he lives in constitutionally bans gay marriage, that would hardly a change at all – it would be throwing a hot potato at someone else while claiming credit for a conversion.

I mean, who would supports a structure that forces his son go out of state to get married?

It’s an open question. Portman so far has only spoken in the Federal context: Portman was quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper as saying he now believes same-sex couples who marry in states where it is legal should be eligible for the same federal benefits granted to heterosexual couples.

Other statements have referred to “the government” obliquely. So, Sen. Portman, what do you mean by that?

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

And I will add that it is about DMAN TIME that Hillary Clinton finally came out for Marriage Equality today. But I don’t give her too much grief over the subject because as Secretary of State, she took ACTION that granted rights to same sex couples. Her rhetoric now reflect her ACTIONS. I’m sure there will be catigation over syaing it’s about time. Nothing nice and all that crap, you know…

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Andrew, Portman has already laid claim to States Rights, in the same op-ed he wrote claiming that he supports smae sex marriage.

That was part of what I was saying at the start of this particular blog entry. He has said, and I’m glad on this point, that we deserve federal recognition of the marriage when we live in a state that allows marriage, but that he feels the federal government isn’t the place for these rights and it should be left to the states. He slos, in that SAME op-ed, said he will NOT take any leadership actions on this, and may or may not support marraige equality in Ohio unless there are adequate religious exemptions to the law.

THESE are his stated opinions after comming around. While better than before, not so much really.

He basiclly came out in support of HIS son, not my mothers or your mothers, but HIS son.

His op-ed was not as edifying and supportive as some seem to think.

Still I do appreciate the Federal arguments he presented. I’m suprised that all of his new found supporters don’t realize the rest of his statements. Or they seem to have aquired deafness upon heaaring the words “I support” that they didn’t hear (or want to hear) all the caveats that would normally make us question such a statement of support.

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

OMG my comments are so heavily edited that they lack grammatical coherency. My apologies. Too many interruptions here ;)

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

F–ing lame-o.

No, Portman does not get the facile credit he’s earning in the media. He will dance away from it at the earliest challenge and talk about state’s rights.

I feel so bad for his son. My dad would totally punch his dad in the nose.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

his own words, not ours:

For example, I believe that no law should force religious institutions to perform weddings or recognize marriages they don’t approve of….

The process of citizens persuading fellow citizens is how consensus is built and enduring change is forged. That’s why I believe change should come about through the democratic process in the states. Judicial intervention from Washington would circumvent that process as it’s moving in the direction of recognizing marriage for same-sex couples. An expansive court ruling would run the risk of deepening divisions rather than resolving them….

op-ed:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2013/03/15/gay-couples-also-deserve-chance-to-get-married.html

If Ohio voters were to reconsider the gay marriage ban they adopted in 2004, Portman said he might support it, depending on its wording, though he would not be likely to take a leadership role on the issue just as he didn’t take a leadership role in 2004. He stressed that he doesn’t want to force his views on others, and that religious institutions shouldn’t be forced to perform weddings or recognize marriages they don’t condone.

from the cleveland.com site

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/03/sen_rob_portman_comes_out_in_f.html

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert, the only liar here is you. You falsely claimed I put words in your mouth. No honest person here is going to believe you and you’re only harming your own reputation by repeatedly making the same debunked false claim.

DN said “Please cite evidence (outside of internet comments) of the ranting and feces-flinging of Rob Portman.”.

I never claimed anything outside of the comments on this blog. I am not interested in giving you an exhaustive report on who is saying what (or not) about Portman where.

Andrew said “But, and here’s my quibble with both Tim and Priya, that’s my choice. You don’t understand my “testing” the veracity, sincerity, and sufficiency of each conversion?”.

I understand that completely. No where did I say I didn’t understand that.

Andrew said “I don’t understand the blinders-on, tell-me-what-I-want-to-hear optimism”.

I never said to be blind to any of the concerns raised, in fact I explicitely said I agree with most of them. I never told anyone to be optimistic.

Andrew said “Priya, I might not rant about what a bad person, but I’m not going to abandon my trip to small claims court to ask him to pay for the windows he already broke.”.

I never suggested you abandon it.

Andrew said “Priya, you said Give us a plausible scenario in which saying to Portman “Thanks for changing your mind.”. can be used to discourage other Republicans from changing positions.

It won’t. What it will do is to show them that all they have to do is mouth the words and then, when the attention is off, quietly work to thwart us on this or other issues.”.

Ranting about what terrible immoral people they are despite changing positions won’t prevent that either. But saying thankyou won’t discourage others from making a sincere change of position.

Andrew said ” For some, it can easily be a way to get the heat of public scrutiny (especially of the mildly pro-gay straight not-really-paying-attention community) off and remain in office. It can be a way for politicians to claim a mantle in a debate against a truly pro-gay politician that they do not deserve, and make it difficult for the voting public to distinguish between them.

Ranting about what bad people they are won’t help anyone distinguish between Republican politicians who are sincere and those who aren’t. There is nothing to be gained from that and nothing to be lost from remaining silent about such changes in position. Only time and actions will show who’s sincere and who isn’t. Until suddenly pro-marriage Republican politicians prove themselves one way or another there’s no point in crapping on all of them in the meantime – its just shooting ourselves in the foot.

Andew said “For the record, I did thank Portman for his change in views.”.

I’m not sure what the nature of your comments has typically been, but certainly for many here there was a “thankyou” surrounded by a lenghty diatribe about what terrible people they were and still may be. A “thankyou” couched like that does more damage than good.

Andrew said “And here, to you, I say – good on him. But don’t take your eyes off him, make sure he doesn’t backslide, and if he does, crucify him as a fraud”.

I’m all for that but I don’t think you need to tell that to anyone in the LGBT community for fear that it won’t have occurred to them..

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Thank you Robert – that information I think is terribly important for gauging the depth of the so-called “support” we’re getting from Senator Portman.

So, Tim, Priya, how’s “victory” feel to ya? Ready to vote for Portman for President?

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Well, I’m Canadian so I don’t vote in any American elections, but I can’t really think of any instances where I’d advise anyone to vote for a Republican over a Democrat, regardless of their stated stance on marriage equality.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

If any of you were thinking I was advising anyone to vote Republican you are severely mistaken.

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya,

I’m not sure where you get your degree in conflict resolution, and based on your dialogues here, I’m not sure I’d sign up for that.

But I cannot agree with you that saying “thank you” for the good that someone has done, but expecting that they follow-through is anything short of intellectually honest.

As to what you did or didn’t say – I’m speaking to tone or argument. I’m characterizing your position. You don’t seem to have a problem characterizing other people – let alone their positions, so please spare me the nonsense argument of “I didn’t say those exact words.” You’re being mealy-mouthed and dancing around what you argument means, and of its implications.

This isn’t PTA, this is politics. This is look over here while I do something else. Lip service is the name of the game. People talk about “strengthening” government programs by gutting them, for example.

Portman is “supporting gay marriage” by… what, no longer supporting a Constitutional Amendment that was never going to pass? He still supports Ohio’s ban on gay marriage (because it was decided by popular vote). He still rejects court action on gay marriage. He has not spoken about gay adoption – something he has also acted to prevent. By every definition – from his son’s perspective as an Ohioan – this is the very definition of “lip service”.

It’s hard enough for Portman to defend. I don’t expect to have to deal with you and Tim – people who should know better – trying to say that this is laudable.

I’m not impossible to please. Just do what you say you’re going to do, and mean it. Don’t couch it in conditions that gut the original statement and render it meaningless while refusing to lift a finger to act.

Shame on me here – I needed Robert to point out that I’d given Portman more credit than he’d ever deserved.

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya, there are absolutely gay and gay-friendly Republicans, past and present, who are worth voting for, just as there are Democrats who are not our allies.

But it’s also necessary to do the electoral math, depending on the legislative body… remember that the House majority calls the tune, so if your gay-friendly Republican puts Boehner in charge, you’re doing yourself no favors.

In states like CA or MA, however, where state legislatures are overwhelmingly structurally Democrat, putting gay-friendly Republican in office ensures competition between the two parties, and means that Dems will continue to compete for our vote. Context and individuals matter. There is no shortcut for homework. You can’t ban the Dobermans, do use DM’s analogy.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“I didn’t say YOU said you sought revenge, I just said You sought revenge, so don’t get up in my grill and tell me I said you wanted to get revenge by telling me you never stated anything about revenge”.

Some people will use the most convuluted bull shit I’ve ever seen.

Priya said directly that she sees my actions as seeking revenge, then gets mad because I state I never had that intention that SHE assigned me, by saying she never said I said I wanted it.

WHAT BULLSHIT. AND YOU KNOW IT Pious Liar.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Ah, I see, Priya. You make a positive assertion, and you think it’s not your duty to provide evidence to support your assertion. I’m afraid that’s not how debate works, nor how logic works.

But I’m going to repeat this: no Republican politician is going to assess whether or not to change to be pro gay marriage based on the comments section on btb. I mean, come on.

Also, you made several assertions that we think that the Portmans of the world are terrible people. I never said that. I don’t see where Robert or Andrew or anyone said that.

You have mischaracterized our arguments from the beginning.

Oh and as for the putting words in Robert’s mouth thing: you’re 100% wrong on that one. Either I’m not an honest person, or I think you’re using a ridiculous level of equivocation to squirm out of it.

Andrew
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Hey, Robert, I’m not going to judge you per se, clearly you’re pissed, but the conversation is devolving rapidly. I’ve said to Priya – and to Tim – what I have to say here, and I’m going on to other things. Sometimes I agree with her, sometimes she pulls this kind of nonsense. I’m not going to call her a liar, because that lacks the shading that persuasive rhetoric implies. I hate to hear this level of distress in someone caused by something that, to me, doesn’t feel like it warrants it. Forget Priya (and me, and Tim and Portman) and have a nice lunch or go out for ice cream. We’ve all done lots of heavy lifting and we deserve a treat.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Andrew said “But I cannot agree with you that saying “thank you” for the good that someone has done, but expecting that they follow-through is anything short of intellectually honest.

I don’t undertand what you’re trying to say – could you re-phrase that?

“As to what you did or didn’t say – I’m speaking to tone or argument. I’m characterizing your position. You don’t seem to have a problem characterizing other people – let alone their positions, so please spare me the nonsense argument of “I didn’t say those exact words.” You’re being mealy-mouthed and dancing around what you argument means, and of its implications. “.

Tone and argument aren’t the same thing, once again I don’t understand what you are trying to say. As to my allegedly being “mealy-mouthed and dancing around”, give me a (some) specific example(s) of what you’re complaining about. To just wave your hands and vaguely assert some unspecified thing I’ve said isn’t right is just more B.S.

As to the comments of Portman that Robert posted, I haven’t read it but if you can impeach Portmans credibility based on what he’s subsequently said I encourage you both to do so. I’m getting tired of all the B.S. I’ve encountered up until now so I’m not going to get deeper into judging additional details than I have already.

Jim Burroway
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

A couple of points.

1) Priya Lynn has a name. Argue against her arguments all you want — that’s why we have comments here, but give her the respect of using it. Further direct attacks on this board will be moderated out.

2) I think Andrew is mistake on who wrote this. For example:

So, Tim, Priya, how’s “victory” feel to ya? Ready to vote for Portman for President?

If you had bothered to read the post (let alone the byline at the top), you’d already know that I’m not even ready to vote for Portman for Senator. And for the record, that same answer would go all the way down to township trustee.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Jim-

As I got moderated for asserting that one of your writers held a view he did not, then I would expect the same treatment of me to be handled in the same manner. An assertion was made that I held a belief that I did not and that I was talking out of a need for revenge. If that individual had accepted responsibility for her own words, I wouldn’t be calling her a pious liar.

It’s your site, ban me or moderate me if you wish, but I would expect that you treat others here the same way I have been treated. If someone lies about me, I WILL call them a liar. If it’s right to moderate me for assertions of that nature, why does it go ignored by others when against ME?

And I am only responding publicly because you called me out publicly.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Jim-

I thought Andrew was refering to the first poster on the blog, small t tim.

At least aI thought a couple of earlier posts were in refrence to his comments.

But I’ll leave this particular conversation at that.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

DN said “Ah, I see, Priya. You make a positive assertion, and you think it’s not your duty to provide evidence to support your assertion.”.

I never made the assertion you assinged to me and have no obligation to provide you evidence for something you asked about.

Dn said “But I’m going to repeat this: no Republican politician is going to assess whether or not to change to be pro gay marriage based on the comments section on btb. I mean, come on.”.

We’re not just talking about Republican politicians, we’re talking about Republican voters. And only a fool would claim that something possible can’t happen.

DN said “Also, you made several assertions that we think that the Portmans of the world are terrible people. I never said that. I don’t see where Robert or Andrew or anyone said that.”.

I specifically said I don’t know what’s typical of Andrew’s comments and the same goes for you. I never asserted anthing of the sort about what the two of you said. Robert has asserted that Portman is not trustworthy on this issue, that he’s not doing it for moral reasons but only because his son is affected and that he may be pretending his support to gain support for himself. That is to me a terrible person. And make no mistake, I agree, portman may be everything Robert has said, I just think its foolish to go around spreading that idea in public.

DN said “You have mischaracterized our arguments from the beginning.”.

I haven’t even spoken to any “arguments” you have raised so get off it.

DN said “Oh and as for the putting words in Robert’s mouth thing: you’re 100% wrong on that one. Either I’m not an honest person, or I think you’re using a ridiculous level of equivocation to squirm out of it.”.

You’re most certainly not an honest person when it comes to that point. I said to Robert “I believe your motivation is “a”. Robert and you falsely claimed I said “Robert, you said your motivation was “a”.”. I obviously did not put words in Roberts mouth, I told the truth, both you and him are lying about the issue – case closed.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I honestly do not think our discussing this issue will affect how others in the future might deal with their own shifting opinions, especially since Senator Portman is getting praise for his stance by both the head of the RNC and since the RNC has also listed gay rights as being imperative to any possibility of their future being bright.

http://metroweekly.com/poliglot/2013/03/rnc-chair-praises-portman-as-gop-report-calls-for.html

“In an expansive “autopsy” of the GOP, the Republican National Committee released a report today providing a path forward for the party, one that includes gay inclusion, following a series of defeats last November.

Titled the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” the 97-page report specifically singles out the GOP’s stance on gay-rights issues as being a key contributor to alienation among younger voters and one that must be addressed if national Republican candidates wish to win at the ballot box.”

I don’t think they even care what we think. They know it’s a problem for them and I don’t think they are going to use anything we say against this issue anymore. It might just be a dead or dying issue for politicians in general.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

First, Priya, I see your point. And I bet Timothy and Jim have the web traffic stats to prove that Republican voters are flocking to this site to learn what anonymous posters (some of them from other countries) have to say about gay rights. Thank you for elucidating that for me.

Your extremely confrontational tone has grated me for years, and this attack on Robert has pushed me past the limit. You owe him an apology.

And to say that I’m dishonest because I read the words that *you* wrote and in my perfectly reasonable interpretation meant that you were putting words in his mouth and you call me dishonest? I’m going to take your advice from earlier and I’m not going to tell you where you can shove that.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “An assertion was made that I held a belief that I did not and that I was talking out of a need for revenge.”.

I made that assertion that you were talking out of a need for revenge and I never denied that, I admited I made that assertion several times. I have no problem with you denying that was your motivation, but that wasn’t sufficient for you, you had to lie and falsely claim I asserted YOU SAID that was your motivation.

Robert said “If that individual had accepted responsibility for her own words, I wouldn’t be calling her a pious liar.”.

If you were an honest person you wouldn’t be calling me a liar. I accepted responsibility for what I said and I stand by it but there’s no way I’m going to accept responsibility for your lie claiming I put those words in your mouth.

Grow up Robert, stop trying to twist my words into something I didn’t say.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Fantastic. Awaiting moderation. Jim, would it be possible to e-mail me the words that are getting my comments blocked so I can avoid them?

It was a response to Priya and it contained not one word of profanity – really it was about how she owes Robert an apology. And an assertion that to call me dishonest for apparently misinterpreting the words that she wrote is to be less than charitable.

Priya Lynn
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Out of here, I’ve had more than my fill of B.S.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya, I’ve been following this all day. And you did not accept responsibility for your lying accusation leveled at Robert.

You’ve been a champion Romanian Quintuplet contortionist trying to get out of that trap, though. Bravo!

You owe an apology. End of story.

chiMaxx
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn:You are normally insightful, but the wheels are flying off your spat with Robert. You repeatedly mischaracterize reservations and skepticism as a diatribe motivated by revenge.

And I think a big part of the context that gets lost both in this spat and in the initial post is part of the context. Tim writes a rather breathless post about how Portman is first(!). And by framing it that wy, it all but says let;s give hima gold star and throw him a parade. And people react to that excessive enthusiasm and attempt to frame Portman as some brave frontrunner.

And what gets lost by that framing on both sides is the REAL positive story here: We have, through all our efforts, changed the cultural conversation. We have taken up Obama’s “Make me do the right thing” challenge, forced him to change his hand, forced the Clintons who 15 years ago threw us under the bus for political expediency to change their tune, changed the conversation enough that first some fringe and retired Republicans came along.

Yes, we should graciously welcome Portman onto our train as it keeps chugging closer and closer to his destination but remind him that it is our train and not his and that he is now expected to contribute to its success just like those who have been on it for miles. Yes, they can tell their grandchildren that they were on the right side of history when it mattered, but they, none of them–not Obama, the Clintons nor Portman–get to claim to be pioneers (“first!”) or leaders on this issue; they were followers.

chiMaxx
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

And Priya:Your most absurd claim is “The only thing posts like yours are going to do is to make other Republicans considering a change to our side more hesitant to do so.” Please, like politicians are going to fret over the skeptical reactions of a bunch of people who weren’t going to vote for them anyway because of a host of other issues.

DN
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

chiMaxx…

If I could make your latest comment into a food, I would eat it every day.

I love, love, love your train analogy. Neatly summarizes a lot of how I feel about this.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn you are not telling the truth of how I feel or have presented myself.

You seem to think a recitation of FACTS is somehow an assertion that he is not trustworthy. I have only fleshed out what has been reported in the very articles we are discussing. In the editorial portion of this article there is little mention of the other statements that Portman made in regards to this issue. I find it fascinating that you think repeating his own words, from the very same speech and op-ed, is somehow saying he’s untrustworthy. I said exactly his words, so if you feel that way, you feel that way from the words of PORTMAN, not me.

And, please go back to the very post in which I asked you to not put words in my mouth. It was a post in response to you saying:

“I understand your need to fulfill your desire for revenge, I just think its sad and unfortunate for American gays and lesbians.”

WHAT was my response to that? MY exact words were:

“I have not indicated or stated a need for “revenge”. That’s in your head, not mine.”

And you concentrat on stated, while ignoring the word INDICATED.

You are arguing semantics to defend yourself, but please recall the conversation you and I had with Timothy Kincaide in which you called him out for the same semantical tactic you know use in regards to his comments about President Obama. Your arguments here are disengenious, YOU imply I make statements based on revenge against Portman, when I protest your statements you get semantical and say that’s not waht you are saying and then cause the entire thread to devolve because you , much like me, can’t let it die. You don’t want to admit your error, and belittle others for not admitting theirs.

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I do hope people will notice the comment about the RNC and Preibus that I just posted. I do think this issue is dying a quick death with republicans, and I also feel that by the mid-terms, almost all of them (except those tea-partiers) will be close to if not holding this same position Portman now holds, our commetns will have NO play in this issue moving forward, the GOP has embraced it fully, they are just working out how to co-opt the issue as a conservative one, as Mr. Portman did in his op-ed and quotes od The British Prime Minister.

Hyhybt
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Skipping over most of the thread and referring to the article… I believe the problem, for some people, goes something like this.

Suppose I support marriage equality, anti-discrimination laws, etc. And suppose I also agree with the Democratic, rather than the Republican, side of whatever other issues you care to bring up. That’s very convenient. I can use the gay stuff as a filter rather than having to weigh issues individually, and, especially if I find the other issues more important, I can use the one as a lever to push others who agree with me on that towards supporting the other as well.

The more that supporting anti-gay positions comes untied from being a Republican, especially a Republican politician, the less useful that combination crutch and lever becomes. If, therefore, I’m attached to it, I might well dismiss or criticize any such politicians and treat their change of mind as trivial.

In a way, it parallels a certain type of atheist who, opposed to church anyway, insists that being anti-gay is an inherent part of Christianity and dismisses churches and individuals who show otherwise, not because it’s true, but because it makes it easier to pull gay and gay-supportive people towards their own position that there is no God.

(And yes, there’s a reason I said “a certain type.” Please don’t pretend I mean all atheists, or start up yet another argument over religion. I’m putting it in as an example only.)

Timothy Kincaid
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Who the hell is this “Tim” guy?

Apparently, he wrote “a rather breathless post about how Portman is first(!)” I thought that might be a reference to me, but I distinctly recall breathing and didn’t use any exclamation points, so I guess not. And some are pretty upset with the Tim who wrote this commentary, but the byline says “Jim”.

Box Turtle bulletin has a writer named Jim and a writer named Timothy (along with a few others) but we aren’t the same person.

Jim Burroway
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

DN,

I released your most recent moderated comment. There are three others that went into the moderation queue, but since you’ve already repeated them, I’ll leave them out.

I’m looking them over, but I can’t see anything in them that should have tripped the spam filter. Please accept my apologies for the annoyance. None of your comments should have gone into moderation as far as I can tell.

Jim Burroway
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert,

You are free to call out anyone you like. Just refer to people by their names. Name-calling isn’t even appropriate for kindergarten playgrounds. It certainly isn’t here.

chiMaxx
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

TIMOTHY: I apologize for referring to you as “Tim” in my comment. By way of apology, let me post this wonderful passage by the late DAVID Rakoff:

“‘You must be Dave,’ she says. (In New England everyone calls you ‘Dave’ regardless of however many times you might introduce yourself as David. I am reminded of those fanatically religious homophobes who stand on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral during Gay Pride, holding signs that say, ‘Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!’ I have always wanted to go up to them and say, ‘Well, of course not Adam and Steve. Never Adam and Steve. It’s Adam and STEVEN.’)”

–chiMaxx (who in life is sometimes Steve and sometimes Steven and doesn’t much care one way or the other and forgets that such things sometimes matter very much to others)

Timothy Kincaid
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

No apologies necessary
:)
just try saying “Tim Kincaid” six times fast and you’ll see why I’m Timothy

gsingjane
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“I feel so bad for his son. My dad would totally punch his dad in the nose.”

Please, please, PLEASE NO. Do not punch anybody in the nose, whether literally or figuratively!

When someone comes in the door, and can for the very first time, often with tears in his or her eyes, and in a sad and trembling voice, hesitantly say, “I am so-and-so, and my son/daughter is gay,” we are NOT going to punch that person for not being 100% “up to snuff” or “politically correct” on every single issue, right that very minute.

Or, if we do choose to do that, because after all we are so much more evolved, and so much more aware, we will not be surprised to see that the person never comes back. I know parents who have been “carrying the secret” for 10 or 20 years … parents who have become socially isolated because they can’t bear the idea that they’ll be “found out”… even marriages that broke up because one parent could accept and the other could not. The parents are accepted with patience, kindness and welcome, no matter where they are on the journey (and take it from me, everybody but everybody IS on a journey, even if you think you arrived a long time ago).

It’s our job to help people work through the negative feelings, to figure out where they came from and then try to help people let go of them. We don’t accomplish that by ridicule, shaming, or by becoming intolerant in the name of tolerance. We don’t say, “oh, it’s perfectly fine that you feel that way, you are justified,” but we do say, “we understand that you feel this way because once we did, too. But it just might be that you will not always feel this way.” It’s like – if I had known better, I’d have done better, but now that I do know better, I will do better.

The primary aim is to keep learning, keep trying to understand, keep trying to work through our feelings, and to keep in relationship, no matter how hard it becomes. And NO punching allowed!

Timothy Kincaid
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Just in case it hasn’t been said, PFLAG works miracles. Walk-on-water, manna-from-heaven type of miracles. We love love love love love PFLAG.

gsingjane
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Well, we love you back. That’s why we do it!

Dixon
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I appreciate what he has done on it’s face. But his turn-around, and this is a fact, is a selfish one. If his son were not gay, he likely would not have changed his mind. Not for any of his gay constituents. Not because it is the reasonable and moral thing to do.

Remember, this guy has done a lot of harm.

So–until he show SHOWS that he supports ME for all people, and not just where it can impact his own son, I will not fawn over him and pat him on the head and say what a fine day this is. I will give him credit for being a good dad–but not yet an ally. Show me you want to actually help. Support and caucus the end to the DOMA. Speak out against the BLAG. Work for ME in Ohio. Deeds, Portman, not words. Show me deeds.

StraightGrandmother
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

ChiMaxx:

“Yes, we should graciously welcome Portman onto our train as it keeps chugging closer and closer to his destination but remind him that it is our train and not his and that he is now expected to contribute to its success just like those who have been on it for miles”

Yes he needs to grab a shove and start shoveling coal into the engine. Until then he is merely a passenger taking up space. Everybody ON that train needs to be shoveling coal into the furnace.

StraightGrandmother
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

With no dog in the race I would simply say that I value Priya Lynn’s thoughts and comments almost all of the time. Today is the exception.

It is not right to tell Robert that he needs to see a psychiatrist or several times calling him childish and all the other stuff.

Unless there really IS that Gay Agenda thing that the other side talks about, that spells it all out and that we ALL have signed on to, we are a diverse tribe and not everybody it going to get to the same place at the same time, in the the matter of forgiveness for past wrongs. Some people need to lick their wounds before they extend a hand. Since you do no know Roberts background, nor Roberts life you cannot know the depths of his wounds. Some people live in States that maybe don’t have Civil Marriage but they have Civil Unions and Anti Discrimination Protections given by their State.

Or maybe they live in the GREAT country of Canada that is light years ahead of the united States in providing State recognition of Equal Protection for their LGBT citizens. But some people live in rat hole States where Discrimination is perfectly legal and in their lifetime they can expect it to always be that way unless the Supreme Court intervenes.

SO! So, what I am saying is, over the Internet you do not know “enough” about the person you are talking with to be able to tell them that the time for wound licking is over and that they should simply move on to full board forgiveness. You do NOT KNOW the depths of Roberts wounds Prira Lynn. Some people have deeper wounds and need to lick them longer before they can emotionally settle down and look outward.

I think you went a little overboard today Priya Lynn, please come back tomorrow and we can have a “Do Over”.

Reed
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“Good suffering St. Anselm on an electrified pogo stick. Is ANYONE minding the bridge? The trolls appear to have taken control of the thread,” I thought to myself.

And then, reading more closely, I realized that this HAS been moderated – and I offered up a sigh and marvelled at the tasks that Jim B takes on each day.

Bravo, all. Keep up the good work – even Timkin Caid.

Zeldamina
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I think the point that (was it Andrew? I think it was Andrew) made is really vital – strategically, if Republicans start voicing support for gay rights, this is good for us, because if the Democrats cannot take it for granted that we will side with them, they will have to push harder to be effective politically for us. For that reason, this is good.

I think also this move leads the way for many people in the country who feel on some level that the discrimination that exists is wrong, but who never see a leader on “their side” take that stance. The more prominent Republicans take this stance, however selfishly and however equivocally, the more people will start moving to our side on this issue in polls and conversations in their communities. It gives them cover to move to a more favorable position for us. For that reason, this is good.

I chose not to judge this situation more than that, because I have enough experience with politicians to know that it is very, very hard to tell sometimes what is really in their hearts. Their lives are lived as a performance for popularity, on some level. This act may be courageous, it may be strategic, it may be selfish. It’s probably a little bit of all of that. I will say, though, that the more I learn about his past votes on the issue, the more I am impressed by the courage his son showed in coming out to him.

ZRAinSWVA
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

gsingjane, thank you. Your words are wise and should be heeded.

Those of us who have finally come to terms with our sexuality (and for me it took decades!) sometimes forget that others will struggle as well to understand–much less come to terms with–our sexuality. My being gay means broken dreams for my parents. No fancy wedding. No grandchildren. So not only did they have to deal with the horror of having a gay son, but that realization came with a whole host of baggage.

The fact that my dad now says he loves me and fondly calls me ‘my son’ means the world. He still does not accept my relationship–though he’s tolerating it much better, now–but these incremental changes mean so much to me. And I am patient. And gently persistent. And my parents’ understanding continues to evolve.

In my opinion we should welcome every ally we have, every voice of reason, and ignore that it may have taken them time to ‘evolve’ or that they aren’t as completely accepting as we’d like them to be…

Jaime
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

Thank you all – a truly remarkable community.

JohnAGJ
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

I can understand the anger and residual bitterness some may experience when a former enemy becomes more supportive of gay rights. I had a taste of this yesterday myself when I saw this:

http://www.towleroad.com/2013/03/a-gay-marine-comes-out-video.html

This young Navy petty officer (the url erroneously tags him as a Marine) seems to be a good fellow and I have no problems with his video. I sincerely wish him all the best as a matter of fact. Yet having served in the military under DADT and choosing to leave quietly like thousands of others did rather than continue to deal with the stress that policy brought, it is difficult sometimes to see the changes. I’m thrilled for this young man and this next generation that doesn’t have to undergo what I and others did but at times am still angry that we had to go through with it in the first place. All that time wasted and lives forever impacted because of the efforts of people like Elaine Donnelly. And for what? So yeah, I understand the anger. Yet at those times I remind myself that others had it far, far worse than I did under DADT (I was never caught or really harassed) and then of course there are those generations of women and minorities before the big social changes that improved things for them as a group. I guess all we can do is not succumb to bitterness, else they “win”, and even though we may never benefit personally from the change we can help make it so the next generation has it better. Civil rights issues aside, this is something every generation should try to do for the succeeding ones anyways.

JohnAGJ
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

One more thing, about Portman. I don’t pretend to know his motivations for changing his mind on SSM. Perhaps they are noble, perhaps they are political or maybe even there is a mix of both. Yet I sincerely welcome this change of heart and believe it will help improve attitudes towards us in the GOP. Not right away of course, but it’s another chink away from the lockdown the social cons have had that party under for years. I don’t except a complete 180 from folks like Portman, on some things he will be inconsistent. He is in the beginning of a process of change and while he took a big first step I expect we’ll hear more from him as time goes on. I look forward to it.

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