In My Opinion
Supporting Gay Marriage: Why I Applaud Senator Rob Portman’s Change of Mind
The latest political news to make headlines is about Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and his decision to change his stance on gay marriage…and it has created quite a stir. I first read the story on Friday afternoon and have since heard about it for several days now. Senator Portman is being criticized and berated because he changed his mind. He has also revealed that his son is openly gay and that he (the Senator) has known for two years. As I researched many articles about Senator Portman and his decision to support gay marriage as a conservative, I found myself wanting to applaud the Senator for his openness and dedication to his family, his country and his faith; yes his faith.
Being a Christian myself I admit that I struggled several years ago when my own daughter came out as a young gay woman. My first reaction was not favorable and I will forever be sorry for the way I initially dealt with it. Over the course of several years and a lot of counseling, soul searching and attempts to “un-learn” misconceptions and to “re-learn” how to develop my own thoughts I too changed my mind and have no regrets about doing so. I too received criticism when I changed my mind, not as much as the senator, but criticism still the same.
When my daughter was born I had many hopes and dreams as to who she would grow up to be. Naturally I envisioned that she would grow up to be a kind, loving, faithful person who would go off to college, get a job doing something meaningful and fulfilling, fall in love, have a few grandkids for me to love and leave her own unique mark on the world. Now, nearly 20 years later I have exactly what I wanted for her (minus the grandchildren who I am sure will come later) only her love happens to be for a beautiful talented sweet young woman, not a man. Over the course of their relationship I have watched them interact and care for one another and am thankful to see them both so happy.
What made me change my mind? I am a Christian woman who was brought up to believe that all of “this” was wrong. After many years of following the beliefs that I was taught, I was forced to face all of “this” and to I was challenged to decide for myself what I believed to be true. I found myself un-learning some of my past and re-learning what I truly believed in my heart. Senator Portman has found himself in the same position. "I have 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," Portman wrote in an op-ed article in The Columbus Dispatch. Like me, Portman sought counsel from his pastor and others during his mind changing process and came to the decision in his mind and heart stating that "Ultimately, for me, it came down to the Bible's overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God." I totally agree!
Whether you agree with gay marriage or not it is not fair to judge, berate or belittle anyone for their beliefs. It has been said that Senator Portman has ruined his chances at ever becoming President because of his decision. Prior to this decision he was considered to be one of the Republican Party’s most knowledgeable and effective leaders; now not so much. It’s as if because he changed his mind he is no longer an effective leader; this one decision has apparently ruined his ability to lead. The way I see it is that he is open minded and understands the need for change which could lead to a better life for those who society deems less than desirable.
We fight for our constitutional gun rights and freedom of speech but when it comes to gay rights we (meaning society) automatically turn away from our constitutional rights and condemn those in the gay community and their supporters.