Last month, Senator Rob Portman announced he was reversing his position on marriage equality. Two years after learning that his son was gay (and only after he had been considered as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney) the Ohio Republican decided that "the government shouldn't deny [two people who love each other] the opportunity to get married."
Marriage equality advocates welcomed Portman's support, still wondering not just why he only reconsidered after finding out his son was gay, but why it took him two years to decide his son deserved the same rights as the other Portman children.
Today, another Republican Senator announced he has reconsidered his position on marriage equality. But the reasons given in Illinois Senator Mark Kirk's blog post announcing his change of heart might leave some gay rights supporters wondering what it will take for Republicans to realize that "skim milk marriage" is just the latest incarnation of the "separate but equal" lie.
Kirk's statement makes clear that his support for marriage equality is the direct result of his having suffered a stroke more than a year ago (emphasis mine) ...
When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others.
Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this Earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back -- government has no place in the middle.
So now, along with "having a gay son", we can add "having a stroke" to the (very short) list of reasons why GOPhers might be willing to reconsider their position on marriage quality.
Hopefully, most of the change will come when Republicans learn that they have gay friends or relatives - or perhaps when they simply think about whether they might look at the issue differently if they knew someone who was gay. Because it is virtually certain that someone they love is gay, whether they know it or not..
After all, if having a gay friend or family member would cause them to change positions on marriage equality, why should they have to wait to find out which ones are gay?
Thank you, Senator Kirk, for finally coming out on this issue. I just wish you didn't have to suffer a stroke to be led to this revelation
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