Friday, March 15, 2013

"I Love My Living Gay Son!"

I Like It - Foxy Shazam (mp3)

Rob Portman:
"I didn't mind condemning and hating all
of your gay children until I found out
about my son. And by 'hating' I don't
mean actively. I just mean I was happy
they were going to hell."
Rob Portman, I hope you go back in time and kick your own ass.

Apparently I'm supposed to admire you for being the first active Republican politician in Washington to take an open stand in favor of gay marriage. Apparently this makes you, in the eyes of many, a trailblazer and a hero.

You're neither, you self-interested egotistical ass-clown.

Lemme lay out the story of your "conversion," and you correct me on whatever part I get wrong.

A year ago, you're a homophobic bigot who opposes gay marriage. You use the Bible as your defense for this stance, one of millions of "Christians" who insist gays are going to hell. Then BAM! Your son comes out of the closet. At this personal crisis point in your life, you  realize that you must either accept that your son, according to your beliefs, is going to hell and is an impure and immoral being, or you must readjust your take on Christianity. You decide God might actually love queers, too, and you also decide being in favor of gay marriage is suddenly about freedom for all American citizens.

Best I can tell, all you did, Robbie, was wake up and cover your own ass. You switched sides because it's convenient for your family.

The Republican Party
My biggest problem with how our politics and political system works is and has always been how deeply rooted in self-interest it is. A huge chunk of the Democratic Party consists of a menagerie of smaller groups all fighting for themselves or their singular cause. Groups based on racial identity and unions and the elderly and trial lawyers, all a part of the party because it's looking out for their little niche interests.

Republicans are in many ways more annoying because their selfishness is even more naked and aggressive. My guns. My income. My religion. My country. Republicans remind me of those seagulls in "Finding Nemo" who spend the entire film barking "MINE MINE MINE MINE!"

Rob Portman's "stance" in favor of gay marriage isn't about doing what's right. He's not standing up for freedom or equality or fairness. The ground of MINE MINE MINE shifted underneath him the minute his son was born, but Portman apparently only discovered the shift two years ago. I'm betting his son had to announce it in a family press conference to even get his father's attention.

This is a hero.
Once Portman became aware of his son's "perversion," Rob's self-interests mutated. He was forced to move from selfishly "protecting the family unit from the scourge of homos" to selfishly "protecting my son's rights as an American" and selfishly "hoping God lets my son go to heaven."

Portman never once stopped shouting "MINE!" It's still all about him.

Rob Portman is a better man for making this change than he would be for banishing his son from his sight, packing up his son's possessions and placing them on the curb and closing his heart to the boy. So, congrats, Rob. You're an almost-decent human being for loving and accepting your gay son. But being almost-decent doesn't make you my hero. You'd be my hero if you'd made this change of heart like Jon Huntsman, who did so not because any of his 42 daughters is gay, but because he knows it's the right thing to do. Not for himself. Not for anyone in his family. Not become there's some secret branding strategy in it, or some fiscal reward for betting on the better team. But for our country, for all people, for justice.

That's heroic.

Sadly, that's also probably why Huntsman was out of the Presidential race before the damn starter gun went off.


G. B. Miller said...

Billy, you should be very careful, as your militancy/hypocracy is bleeding through. Might get you compared to the peons in the WBC.

How? Why you're mocking someone for their beliefs and mocking someone for changing their beliefs.

Unless you have a gay child, you really don't know how hard of decision you have to make as a parent.

I've heard directly from a co-worker how her son experienced the dual response of coming out: his father completely rejected him and his mother & stepfather completely accepted him for who he is.

Before you mock someone for their beliefs (which seems to be the norm in social media), ask yourself if you enjoy being mocked for your beliefs.

Bet you don't. So if you don't, why would you do it to someone else?

Bob said...

Mr. Miller, perhaps a simple analogy will support Billy's point: the politician who supports the Vietnam War until his own son gets drafted is wrong on both counts. He was wrong to support the war in the first place and he is wrong to change his stance for personal potential benefit. I can see a different scenario where his change in position could be applauded, but here portmans position potentially impeded civil rights for our gay population. Now he wants his son to enjoy those rights? Surely you see the problem in that.

Billy said...

@G.B. -- Your cautionary words are appreciated, and I admit to being a little bit sensitive to the topic in question. That Rob Portman's family situation caused a change in heart is not the problem. When the rubber meets the road and things get personal, we often find that our philosophies don't quite match up to reality.

My only point -- granted it's slightly trollish due to aggravation: Portman is no hero for changing positions.

The many white people who stood by and fought (and in a few cases died) for the Civil Rights Movement were heroes to me. Those who sheltered and protected the Jews from persecution were heroes. In these cases, it's people taking a stand that does nothing immediate to benefit them, but rather just because it's right. That's my idea of a hero.

I'm glad Portman didn't abandon his son. Good for him. But it's a frustrating shame for those of us who, like myself, are heterosexual but confident that gays deserve equal treatment and appreciation under the laws of our country, to see that the only way Republicans will wake up is if they all have children who come out of the closet.

Oh yeah, for what it's worth, to be fair, I'm OK with people mocking my beliefs. My beliefs can handle it. Most of us on all sides of the aisle could use some thicker skin.

G. B. Miller said...

Bob & Billy: I never stated/believed that Portman was a hero for changing his position on gay marriage/gay rights.

It requires a lot of soul searching to change a previously held position and to mock someone for it, even if in jest like it was done in this post, is wrong.

And contrary to popular opinion (and I know I'm going to get static for this) gays do have equal treatment under the law. I believe that discrimination by sexual orientation is against the law, so why do we need extra laws to solidify that fact?

As for impeding civil rights for gay people, could you possible elaborate on that particular point? Civil rights are available for all, and I daresay that some rights/privileges that are available to gays are not available to straights.

I'm used to people mockng my beliefs as well, because mine are just as strong as yours.

Bob said...

Mr. Miller,

You can google this for starters: An Overview of Federal Rights and Protections Granted to Married Couples

There are 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in Federal law. [1] Because the Defense of Marriage Act defines "marriage" as only a legal union between one man and one woman, same-sex couples - even if legally married in their state - will not be considered spouses for purposes of federal law.

Surely you are aware of some gay partners being denied, along with that couple's adopted children, the right hospital visitation when the other partner is dying?
Obama has helped some with that.

Obama has also helped with repealing don't ask, don't tell.

And what about the right to marry?

And if we are all enjoying the same civil rights, then why are groups like the ACLU trying to get Congress to pass The Employment Non-Discrimination Act?

Billy said...

G.B., I appreciate your willingness to jump in when expecting "static." This isn't as easy a topic for our country as I wish it were, and life in the South offers constant reminders of why, in good and bad ways. Also, as someone who continues to wrestle with "acceptance" of matters like transgendered persons (just as an example), I know this is thorny stuff.

You need to be aware, however, that in more than half of the United States (29/50, in fact), a person can be legally fired from their jobs just for being gay. My own state of TN (thanks to goobers of my own hometown) just tried passing a law requiring transgendered people to use the bathroom of their birth gender.

The discrimination is real, it is aggressive, and it is legal in over half the country. Whether it is justified is, I guess, a matter of opinion.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with is this that no one has yet commented on the awesomeness of the title of this post... so perfect!