Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has a long history of opposing gay rights. He was a co-sponsor of DOMA, the bill that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage. In 1999, he voted to prevent gays from adopting in Washington DC.
In 2011 his son came out. A year went by. Another year went by. And finally, Senator Portman decided that it was time to stop treating gays as sub-human, and announced that he now supports same-sex marriage.
His conversion has received praise from many quarters. Personally, I’m not impressed. While it’s always good to see politicians change their positions in light of new information, Portman only changed his mind when the results of his anti-gay stance affected him personally. Even then it took him two years wake up. His decision was purely emotional, instead of being based on logic or reason. Still, it’s a step in the right direction.
The reactions to his change of heart have been predictable and entertaining. Most of his hard-right Republican colleagues are doing a jittery side-stepping dance, trying to support him while avoiding any appearance of favoring human rights for those icky gays.
The fundamentalist world is, of course, in an uproar.
One of the most appalling and amusing responses to date has been from Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition. Her ham-fisted parody of Sen. Portman’s announcement changes “gay” to “drunk driving.”
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.
We should be delighted with the responses from the fundamentalists. The more they speak, the more they reveal how ridiculous, silly, and hateful their positions are.
[Image via ABC News]