Friday, March 15, 2013

A compelling and well written article asking the very questions I want asked.

Dear Senator Portman: Thanks For Supporting Same-Sex Marriage, But I Really Have To Ask…

by DAVID BADASH on MARCH 15, 2013

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Dear Senator Portman,
Thank you for becoming the first sitting U.S. Republican Senator to announce support for same-sex marriage. I recognize what a huge shift in your consciousness this has been. I recognize you are an exceptionally intelligent man, an exceptionally dedicated public servant — having served in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate and having served as President George W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget. I recognize that, given the current state of Republican politics — and the fact that you have never lost an election — your announcement yesterday has to have included the question, “Will I lose my next election because of my support of same-sex marriage?”
I don’t want to appear ungrateful, or intolerant, but I have another question, and with respect, I have to ask it of you, and of all your colleagues in Congress — indeed, of all lawmakers throughout the country:
When you voice opposition to the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, when you vote against our right to marry, to adopt children, to pass our estates onto our partners in life, to serve our country in the armed forces, to not be fired merely for being LGBT, and to not be treated equally by businesses, I have to ask, does it never enter your mind that chances are strong that a close family member of yours is gay?
skitched-20130315-122601Hypotheticals are always tough. Your Republican colleague from Oklahoma, Senator James Inhofe, stood on the floor of the Senate not too long ago, with a three-foot wide photo of his family, and proudly, in support of a federal amendment to the Constitution banning people like your son, and me and millions of other Americans, the right to marry, proclaiming:
“As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”
Statistics alone say this is likely false, but you have to wonder, did the good senator from Oklahoma really never even consider the possibility he was wrong?
Again, I’m grateful that you chose to voice your support for equality, but I have to say, there’s something about your reasons and your evolution that gets my goat.
You told CNN, “My son came to Jane, my wife, and I, told us that he was gay, and that it was not a choice, and that it’s just part of who he is, and that’s who he’d been that way for as long as he could remember.”
And then you said, “It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that’s of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years.”
Because I was under the impression that as a U.S. Congressman, as a U.S. Senator, (and to all you local and state lawmakers out there, I’m speaking to you too,) it’s your job to “think of issues from a new perspective.” Isn’t it your job, Senator, to do just that? To consider all the possibilities, how the laws you vote for or against, affect all Americans, and society as a whole?
I was under the impression it was.
As I write this, I confess a tad bit of trepidation myself in criticizing someone who has begun an important evolution, someone who could help convince his colleagues of the importance of supporting my community, someone whom I’m now counting on to push for equality for my community.
But as I look at social media and news media, I’m finding a fair amount of support for my anger. Because doing the right thing because you have personal first hand knowledge of people whose lives your decision will affect is one thing, and an important one at that, but so is doing the right thing because its the right thing.
“And yet as a window into the working of Portman’s mind, his conversion is a confession of moral failure, one of which he appears unaware,” Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine writes:
Portman ought to be able to recognize that, even if he changed his mind on gay marriage owing to personal experience, the logic stands irrespective of it: Support for gay marriage would be right even if he didn’t have a gay son. There’s little sign that any such reasoning has crossed his mind.
It’s pretty simple. Portman went along with his party’s opposition to gay marriage because it didn’t affect him. He thought about gay rights the way Paul Ryan thinks about health care. And he still obviously thinks about most issues the way Paul Ryan thinks about health care.
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog adds this thought:
Portman was against gay marriage, voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), voted to ban gays from adopting in Washington, DC, and supported a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.  Now he’s changed his mind, all because his son Will had the courage to come out to dad.
Here’s the problem.  You don’t put your son’s humanity up for a vote.  The Senator himself acknowledged that he had the issue all wrong until he got the facts from his son.  Up until then, the Democratic process wasn’t working for his son.
We’re all human. We all make decisions for a wide variety of often competing reasons. And hopefully, we all grow and change and, yes, to use the President’s word, “evolve.” But I’m forced to challenge you and all those whom we pay to represent us, with this one question: When will you start forcing yourselves to ask the right questions, to actually hear the answers, and to do what’s right because it’s the right thing to do?
Supporting same-sex marriage is the right thing to do. So is supporting an inclusive ENDA, and repealing DOMA and finding both DOMA and Prop 8 unconstitutional — indeed, as are all bans on same-sex marriage.
I’m glad you have realized at least some if not all of this. I hope you’ll preach from the highest mountaintops your new-found truths. And I hope you’ll continue to evolve, to protect your son, me, my fiancĂ©, and the millions of good Americans, LGBT, or not, who are struggling with being minorities in a land that we were told was built to welcome and treat us all, equally.

Traditional Values Coalition: Homosexuality Is Just Like Drunk Driving

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition is mocking Sen. Rob Portman’s recent announcement that he changed his views on marriage equality after his son came out of the closet. Lafferty asked in a statement if a politician would support drunk driving if his son was a drunk driver. She maintained that civilization is “doomed to collapse” if gay rights laws succeed, and Portman should have told his son that it is “wrong” to be gay.
Traditional Values Coalition president Andrea Lafferty issued the following statement in reaction to Ohio Senator Rob Portman's recent repudiation of his stance against gay marriage in reaction to his son's homosexual preferences:

These past few days have been very painful ones for me.

Earlier this week one of my children came to me and told me something which was shocking.

He is a drunk driver and has been driving drunk regularly since college.

I have taken several days to reflect on this and I have decided to reverse my earlier opposition to drunk driving.

My child is a drunk driver and I love him. It is a part of his identity, who he is.

I have reflected on all of this, consulted Scripture (the story of Jesus changing water into wine when the wedding he was attending in Cana ran dry is particularly relevant) and decided that drunk driving is a generational issue. Younger people take a much different view of drunk driving than older people.

Therefore, today I am reversing my opposition to drunk driving. My child has caused me to revisit a decision which, up until now, had been based simply on morality.

My child is a drunk driver. That has personalized the issue for me and taken me above the whole discussion of the morality of it. It is now personal with me.

In addition, I would like to say that drunk driving will make all of us stronger drivers. Think of how much more interesting driving will be in the future if more people have the freedom to drive drunk. It will sharpen the defensive driving skills of the rest of us.

"This unreleased press statement follows the same twisted, self-serving logic that several public officials have used in explaining their switch from opposing homosexual marriage to favoring it.

"If you remember nothing else from this exchange, remember this: our children are learners and unable to determine morality and then hand it down to their parents and other impressionable adults. This is one factor in why our culture is so morally upside down!

"This whole line of argument suggesting that opposition to homosexual “marriage” is a personal and “generational” matter is equally silly.

"There are absolutes. There is right and there is wrong. There are objective truths. A civilization which has no governing principles or laws is doomed to collapse. That is the soul of conservatism.

"The tough part of being a parent is telling one of those young souls whom we have been charged with raising that he or she is wrong. But because it is tough that doesn’t mean that we are excused from doing it or we can delegate our responsibility to a teacher or “the village” or some other entity.

"Being a good parent is infinitely more difficult than being a Senator or President. And telling someone you love that he or she is wrong is the most difficult part of that difficult job.

"A nation which recognizes this is on the road to a vast spiritual recovery."

 Hello, my friends and fellow psycho ward residents;
  I say we must be crazy.  Must be.  Because in a rational world, one does not say that very tangible and real aspects of "your" life must not be so that I may maintain what I believe to be morals and values that everyone must live by, no matter how intangible and sketchy.
  It is really a mark against our education when grown adults, men and women who have experienced life and seen the world spin on by a time or two, would accept that "traditional", such as "traditional marriage" is a historical issue when, in fact, the very concept of marriage has drastically changed in just the expected life span here in this country.
  It was not until the '40's and a so called World War took many of the men that it was acceptable for women to work outside the home.  Try to tell a woman it's unacceptable for her to work outside the home now.  Some would cry "Deal!"  Others would ask how you dare tell them that they don't deserve the chance to make money, to contribute to society, to reach for new challenges and new opportunities.

Now, if we consider the concept of so called gay marriage.  It is essentially the same.  Some people decide that it is against their "values" to allow two consenting adults who just happen to be of the same gender to come into a marriage contract.  They say that the benefits and responsibilities of marriage are a value judgement that cannot be meted out to those of different values.  Why?  

  Now, in relation to this idiot above.... what he doesn't consider is that a drunk driver is a death sentence waiting to happen to all he meets on the road.  Is that a fair parallel to gay marriage?  Really?
  Further on the idiot... is it possible that the rants and raves of those who have "no horse in the race" suddenly becomes trite once the facts come so very much home?  Maybe, instead of making light of this other man's change of opinion, it would be better to seek an understanding of why his opinion changed.

  Well, speaking of opinions, there's mine.   hugs.