But I think it's also true that the time has never been better for conservatives to find a change of heart within them on this issue. And while I appreciate that he and his family may have had some soul-searching, it still rankles me that there are people who don't understand that LGBT people are people until they find out that an LGBT person is one of their people--a friend, family member or co-worker. If that's how it has to happen, I'm glad that it does happen--but I do note this one thing:
House Republicans have taken up the defense of DOMA. The Supreme Court will hear arguments this month on a case challenging the law.
Portman said he does “not plan to take a leadership role” on gay marriage but wanted Ohio voters to know his position had changed.Emphasis mine. Not planning to take a leadership role may make some sense politically, if he's just saying he doesn't want to be "that Senator" who has the off-beat idea that gay people are consenting adults who should have the same right to marry as straights do. (Does his son need to have a partner to push him to take the next step? Should we do some matchmaking? I kid. Sort of.) It seems like he never thought about the issue until right now, and maybe his opposition was every bit as much a part of the party platform as it was a personal scruple.
You know how we say "the personal is political"? It would be so great if more politicians got that the political is conversely personal, and no one would ever be advocating for social change without some reasons. I'm glad this one father has had his epiphany, but more change has to come.