Friday, March 15, 2013

Learning is Good But ...

Senator Rob Portman is getting praise today for switching his position on same sex marriage.  Woot!  He changed his mind once he learned his son is gay and that he should have the chance for lifetime love and all that.  How sweet!

I cannot help but be annoyed.  Not that he changed his mind.  That is swell.  Learning/evolution is great, but if our politicians can only learn from short-range empathy--when one's kin is involved--then I really am not that impressed.  Yes, it can take a heap of time for people to learn and adjust, realizing that they are on the wrong side of history.  Clinton just admitted last week that he was wrong to sign the DOMA legislation, but he was an opportunist then and now.  I doubt he thought DOMA was right, and his change of heart has less to do with gay relatives and more to do with not being President in 1994.

Must we assign one gay person to be a family member to each politician opposed to gay marriage?  What does this say about our larger political system?  Didn't we manage to get laws reversed on inter-racial marriage without politicians suddenly realizing they had black kids or kids in love with black kids?

Again, this is great that we have one more politician on the right side of history.  But the causal process here says something to me that does not fill me full of joy and happiness.  I wish our politicians had more empathy for those who they did not know.  But I guess I will settle for whatever it takes.

This tweet expresses my views better than I can:


Anonymous said...

Re the first paragraph: Portman didn't "realize" his son is gay; his son told him -- according to Portman's column in The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. There is a difference.

Steve Saideman said...

Thanks, I changed realized to learned.

Scott Timcke said...

"Since I found out my son was sequestered, my views have evolved."