Three Views on Senator Rob Portman and Gay Marriage

The following are three views of Widener University Political Science majors concerning Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s statement of support for gay marriage.

A Bold Move

by Tara Connolly

Widener University Political Science Major

 A bold move was made by Senator Robert Portman (R-Ohio) this week. After two years of being aware of his son’s sexual orientation, the Senator has come out saying he is in support of gay marriage. While this isn’t how he’s always felt on the topic, especially as a conservative Republican Senator, he claims he has come to believe “that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married.” This is coming from the senator who was on the list of potential running mates for Romney in the 2012 election and who was also in support of the DOMA act, which he now says he would like to see (Section 3) repealed.

While it was pleasing to hear that the Senator was able to bring himself to support gay marriage, one has to question whether or not the Senator would’ve reached this conclusion on gay marriage if his son had been straight. It is easy to come forth and strip him of any credit because it took his son being gay to see how important the right to marriage is for the gay community. However, he still came forward and I believe that is what should be stressed. It did take him a bit, but I believe that shows that he gave careful consideration to the matter. It is not easy to sway any adult of their beliefs, especially men who are employed and elected based from them. By coming forward the senator risks losing the support of his fellow GOP members, the constituents who participate in elections and ultimately his position. That alone warrants credit.

It is Possible for Change

By Melanie Asdourian

Widener University Political Science Major

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) recently decided to support gay marriage based on his son’s sexual orientation. His son came out to him roughly two years ago and Portman believes his son should have the same marriage rights as his other two children. This is not a popular decision for most conservatives and only two Republican house members signed the brief trying to get the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage. Rob Portman stated that he wanted to change the Marriage Act and let the states decide how to go about gay marriage. I think this was a very brave decision for Portman to make and it is important for him to support his son. However, would he have even thought about changing the Defense of Marriage Act if his son was not gay? I think it is interesting how long it took for the Senator to show his support for gay marriage, but the important thing is he did come around to the idea for the sake of his son. If the majority of conservatives could see gay marriage in the same light as Senator Portman there would no longer be a dilemma. This shows that it is possible for people in Congress to change their beliefs and they are able to evolve and compromise for the better of the people. They don’t always have to be partisan and stick to their party lines and the way I see it more legislation would get passed.

Senator Reverses Stance on Gay Marriage

By Greg Grossman

Widener University Political Science Major

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) has recently reversed his stance on gay marriage. Two years ago his son came out and told him that he was gay. In 1996 the prominent Senator co-sponsored the bill in the House that lead to the barring of gay marriage. This directly shows the stereotype of Congress in which they do what is best for themselves before that of the people. Senator Portman once has no compassion for gays but his son being gay suddenly changed his opinion. I think of this as why couldn’t a senator who is supposed to reflect his constituents preferences change sides on an issue do to a family members story, but not a constituents. It seems irrational to bar gay marriage as it only effects gays. I would be more impressed with the Senator if a constituent changed his opinion more than merely his son. Senators need to be open and be able to put themselves in their constituents shoes. If only Senator Portman could have put himself in the position of another father of a gay son, and was able to realize that that son will not be able to enjoy the type of marriage that he himself has enjoyed for over 26 years. That, to me, would immeasurably change the opinion of Congress to the country, and would give more welfare to our people.

2 thoughts on “Three Views on Senator Rob Portman and Gay Marriage

  1. Marriage between one man and one woman originates from Natural Law and the Underpinnings of Natural Law is Devine Law. To attempt to change this is indeed a “slippery slope” and I applaud Dr. Carl Johnson’s logical statement. Once Natural Law is violated this opens the doors for other groups to demand legal marriage.

  2. I also believe that Dr. Ben Carson made the same argument this past week.

    Marriage between one man and one woman originates from Natural Law and the Underpinnings of Natural Law is Devine Law. To attempt to change this is indeed a “slippery slope” and I applaud Dr. Carl Johnson’s logical statement. Once Natural Law is violated this opens the doors for other groups to demand legal marriage.

    Thanks,
    Moira

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