As promised yesterday, today we're going to talk about the new party of inclusion. The big tent and one homophobe's revelation.
Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio was an outspoken critic of all things gay, including marriage between individuals of the same sex. Portman's 2011 selection as commencement speaker at the University of Michigan law school drew protests from the student body because of his single-minded obsession to legislate his religious beliefs.
Last month Will Portman, the senator's 21-year-son and a junior at Yale University revealed his homosexuality to his dad. After a bit of soul searching, Senator Portman did what any good father should do, he embraced his son for who he is, not who his father would want him to be. For that, I applaud the senator. Portman, the elder now says that he supports gay marriage because he thinks his gay son should have the opportunity to enjoy a long and loving marriage just as Senator and Mrs. Portman have enjoyed these last 26 years.
Dick Cheney is another on the Right side who has come to endorse gay marriage, although he and the Mrs. skipped their daughter, Mary's wedding last July. A bit of a half-hearted endorsement, don't you think?
Sarah Palin, vociferously anti-abortion said repeatedly during Campaign '08 that she was proud of daughter Bristol's choice to keep her baby. Trig was born in December of '08.
Portman's change of heart, Cheney's about face and Palin's pride all underscore what is sorely lacking in the Republican Party: empathy. They simply can not fathom the lives of those they do not know and feel no obligation to those people. Sarah Palin praised her daughter's choice to keep her baby, but doesn't think others should have that choice. Cheney and Portman are born-again gay marriage proponents, but only because of the homosexuality in their own families.
In general it is the policy of the Republican Party to constantly push for tax cuts for the wealthiest of their constituents and to pay for those cuts by eviscerating programs designed to help the other 99% of Americans. Whatever problems YOU may have, and by YOU I mean anyone who works for a living, anyone who has elderly parents for whom they are going to one day become responsible anyone who for any reason loses their health care benefits or has a pre-existing condition as defined by Blue Cross or Blue Shield or whomever, they are not interested in those problems. Unless, of course it happens in their families.
If you think homosexuality a sin, you may be right, but you can't legislate away sins. Then again, we shouldn't be legislating what is and what is not legal based on one group's religious beliefs. Why don't we outlaw pork? Make circumcision mandatory, along with fasting during Ramadan?
We have unemployment, debt, health care, European debt, an explosive situation in almost every country in the Middle East and an ongoing war in Afghanistan. Our government has plenty to do- if they ever get off their asses - besides worrying about your biblical prostration. Let them fix their own inequities before they try to moralize America. And that goes for you, too Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Sean Hannity.
Members of the Religious Right, I say this to you with all due respect: Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing in their bedrooms. Respect other people's beliefs as you would want them to respect yours. I believe someone famous said that, if I could only remember who.
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