Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Winds Of Love: Portman's Change Of Heart Latest Blast To Republican DOMA Diehards

When Republican Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) came out of the same-sex marriage closet to state that his view on the subject had, like President Obama's, "evolved", the Right (especially the Christian Right) returned a volley of wailing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of Brooks Brothers suits. Portman hit home particularly hard: 
      "The overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible, and certainly the Golden Rule, and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker, that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue," Portman said, adding that he feels that "in a way, this strengthens the institution of marriage."
Citing the Bible to bible-thumpers, has no positive effect: in fact, it created a very negative effect, giving people like Tony Perkins of Family Research Council the sadz:
       "Our unconditional love for our children should not override the historical and social science evidence which makes abundantly clear what is best for all children and for society - being raised by a married mother and father."

It would seem, however, that Portman is riding a wave of support from Republicans, since even Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, when asked about the issue of marriage equality said that there was "no doubt" young conservatives considered it basic and not "a disqualifying issue."

Walker's comment followed only a week after it was reported that 78 prominent Republicans signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the DOMA case. 

Hurt hardest with the news of defecting Republicans is Speaker John Boehner, who spearheaded an effort to defend DOMA in the courts and capped out last year with $1.5 million in lawsuits. He was, of course, the most prominent politicians to weigh in against Portman's decision by bolstering his own position:

John Boehner:
       "Rob [Portman] is a great friend and a long-time ally. And I appreciate that he’s decided to change his views on this.I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. 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." - House Speaker John Boehner, appearing yesterday on ABC's This Week.

Boehner's base is eroding: if Republican changes of heart aren't enough, some evangelicals are switching as well. Former megachurch pastor Rob Bell: “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man.”

Justice Roberts' Second-Best Option
The leader of a prominent anti-gay organization called Supreme Court Chief John Roberts' decision to adopt children the "second-best option," the AP reports.
Desperate times seem to call for desperate rhetoric from anti-marriage equality groups, and the most inept of late, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) held a panel at CPAC to an almost empty house. That's when NOM's chairman, John Eastman, made the now-infamous remark about Justice John Roberts' family. The back-peddling, of course, described adoptive parents as  "heroes" but the damage was done. In response, one ten-year-old adopted boy with two dads has fashioned a YouTube "letter" to Justice Roberts that has gotten wide attention (see below)

The Winds Of Love and Change
       Support for gay marriage reached a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, marking a dramatic change in public attitudes on the subject across the past decade. Fifty-eight percent of Americans now say it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed.
The poll also brought another significant number: only 24 percent of Americans think that being gay "is a choice." The Supreme Court may have to weigh in on the immutability of homosexuality on the grounds of discrimination.

A ton of amicus briefs from members of Congress, corporations, notable politicians and celebrities. Reversal of opposition by prominent Republicans. A poll showing a dramatic shift in the national psyche.

John Boehner and his supporters are crying again.

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