Rob Portman's conversion on gay marriage

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) has explained that he now supports gay marriage because his son is gay. Does that make any sense? His son is not planning to get married any time soon, and did not even mention having a boyfriend, according to media reports. So Portman’s conversion suggests that gay marriage is not actually the issue here. Rather, gay marriage has become a symbol of tolerance for, and acceptance of, gay lifestyles.

That, for many gay activists, is the point. But does tolerance require political conformity? We who support traditional marriage are not bigots, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) declared at CPAC last week. Is it possible to love and support gay friends and relatives without at the same time supporting a political campaign to change the legal definition of marriage for the first time in the history of human civilization? One hopes that it would be so.

It is certainly understandable that having a close gay friend or relative might be a reason to reconsider the gay marriage issue. But if traditional marriage is inherent to your faith, or even just a matter of personal philosophical conviction, isn’t the right approach to the issue to stand by your beliefs? Do our political views flow only from personal interests and our experiences? If so, how can there ever be common agreement on anything?


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