In a somewhat stunning development, a high-profile member of the Republican Party has “crossed the Rubicon”… reversing his stance on Marriage Equality.
Senator Rob Portman gave the revelation to CNN’s Dana Bash. He said that the decision was due to his Will coming out to the family.
Make no mistake of it… This is big news for Marriage Equality in the United States. To have a sitting GOP Senator reverse his position, knowing well that he must face the rest of his party is big news. For that, I congratulate Senator Portman. But who we should really be thanking here is his son Will. All of the constituents letters (certainly thousands of them) asking the Senator to reverse his stance didn’t do it. The images of same sex protests and weddings in the state of Ohio didn’t do it. As is typical with so many of our Republican lawmakers, it takes a situation that hits home for them to actually see the light.
For this blogger, I will celebrate the step forward for many in the Republican Party. I will be hopeful (like others) that Senator Portman’s leadership will shepherd others to follow suit. But this is more so a time recognize lawmakers that have supported equality from the start. Given that the Senator’s son revealed his sexuality two years ago, and since that time voted several times against equality, today’s news certainly doesn’t make up for the damage he’s already done. They didn’t need a personal connection to the issue, because they DID THEIR JOB as legislators, and represented all of their constituents fairly and equally. And that prize, on the whole, goes to Democrats.
So thanks Senator Portman… You have arrived to the party. But you’re much more than “fashionably late”.