We seem to be maybe, finally, oh so slowly going through a sea change on lesbian and gay rights. Cultural acceptance -- incomplete still, of course -- came first, and it seems like maybe political and religious acceptance may follow.
Did he not realize that the sons and daughters of many of his constituents, who are indeed also loved by their parents no less than Portman loves his own son, had been treated unfairly due to the laws that he had supported?
As always, it's been a busy week for marriage equality. There was Rob Portman and his gay son, Obama's comments on the cases before the Supreme Court, and lots of legislation advancing from Colorado to Rhode Island. And of course there was the news about Hillary.
For some, the threat of violence is too real, and the simple act of holding hands or kissing on a street corner would be unwise and unsafe. But for the rest of us, we have the capability to shift the tides by making ourselves visible.
What about the opponents of same-sex marriage who do not have gay children? What about the bullies of LGBT youth? What about the perpetrators of hate crimes? What about religious leaders who preach hate? What will it take for these people to reexamine their beliefs?
Sen. Portman could have remained silent about his son's coming out. That inaction would have been politically expedient for a conservative member of the Republican Party. Instead, he took to the air and wrote an op-ed explaining why he had changed his position on marriage equality.
Let's hope that Sen. Portman's change of heart on marriage equality isn't just an anomaly, but that instead it's a visible crack in the foundation of a Republican Party that has allowed itself to be taken over and ruled by a dogmatic right-wing fringe.