On gay marriage, Rob Portman’s liberal critics are wrong

  • Article by: William Saletan , Slate
  • Updated: March 18, 2013 - 1:27 PM

Hypocrite. Narcissist. Wingnut. Bigot.

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windigolakeMar. 18, 13 1:40 PM

"Hypocrite. Narcissist. Wingnut. Bigot....But these epithets aren’t coming from the right. They’re coming from the left." BULL! The left is in full support of Portman's position. Whatever Salaten is claiming is not representative of 99% of the supporters of gay rights. He, not Portman, is the charlatan here.

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davehougMar. 18, 13 2:04 PM

Amazing how both sides claim to know and understand the motives of people........I'm not even certain of my own motives :)

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ubetcha101Mar. 18, 13 2:23 PM

Look, take a breath everyone. The world still turns. Life is good and all people have evolved to be better people. This from a repub that cares lees who sleeps with who. As long as we don't have to pay for it.

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pumiceMar. 18, 13 2:29 PM

From the article: "Hypocrite. Narcissist. Wingnut. Bigot." You know, William Saletan, I haven't heard any such epithet from any of my liberal friends. Nor have I heard/read any such epithet from any liberal Member of Congress. Nor have I heard/seen any such epithet from the usual suspects in the liberal media. What I've heard, read and seen is universal acclaim for Portman's evolution on marriage equality.

In fact, Rob Portman's courage was reflected by Hillary Clinton in a Human Rights Campaign video in which she says unequivocally: "LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage." Clinton followed that declaration with this Portman-like statement: "To deny the opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their own God-given potential."

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smdentMar. 18, 13 2:42 PM

I do want to be patient...I do want to be kind. And I think that Senator Rob Portman is typical of Republicans. They are so selfish, so self-centered that until it hits home, they are against any kind of empathy for the "other." So I think the thesis of this article is correct, but the author has the "villains" wrong. It is the conservatives that do not demonstrate empathy for the "other," the way that liberals and progressives do. After all, President Obama endorsed marriage equality without having to have a lesbian daughter, didn't he?

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greg62Mar. 18, 13 2:45 PM

Portman can love and support his son without supporting his behavior.

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LumpmooseMar. 18, 13 2:54 PM

"The bigger this empathy critique gets - the more it reaches beyond Portman and his son toward a grand theory of the GOP - the less it’s about empathy." -- The thing is, this "grand theory of the GOP" is still all about empathy. Just look at John McCain on torture, Ronald Reagan on gun control, Nancy Reagan on stem cell research, Marco Rubio on immigration, Chris Christie and Peter King on disaster relief, and Dick Cheney and now Rob Portman on marriage equality. In each case, the GOP official tows the party line with the notable exception of a single cause that personally affects them. Rob Portman is merely more evidence.

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senjh23Mar. 18, 13 2:57 PM

I am liberal and support gay marriage. I welcome Portman gladly to the ranks of supporters. I have always favored the perspective of former Sen. George Aiken who didn't questions the motives of people who changed their mind and opposed the Vietnam war. He said, "I don't care Why they are against the War, I'm just glad they saw the light."

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l6l6l6lMar. 18, 13 3:06 PM

Kind of bummed at the reaction of my fellow freedom loving Americans.....they should be celebrating that this man has learned, and is willing to change his public stance on this issue. Lots of people are changing their minds, and instead of being mad for them not bein there as fast as the rest of us, we should welcome them to the big tent of freedom. Critiquing him for not changing his every belief in one fell swoop is pretty silly, imo. Who does that? Who wakes up one day and changes her every belief?

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gutshotMar. 18, 13 3:37 PM

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." W.S.

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