Friday, March 15, 2013

Ohio Senator Supports Gay Marriage

Ohio Senator--and superstar Republican--Rob Portman has publicly announced his support for gay marriage, a policy position that he previously did not hold.  When a politician of standing changes his position--actually repudiates it--on anything, it is big news.  This switch is getting that kind of play, predictably in the gay-marriage friendly Bought and Paid For Media.

Senator Portman's conversion on the matter requires some consideration, though.  Fifty-seven years into life, much of which has been spent in public service, Portman now believes gay marriage should be legalized.  Not because he believes that marriage is--as Jonah Goldberg is fond of saying--conservatizing; not because Portman is troubled by 14th Amendment issues of equal protection; not because he woke up one morning and all of a sudden said, "this is just plain unfair".  He arrived at his decision only after his son came to him and told him that he was gay, and his love as a father for his son drove him to realize that he wanted nothing to stand in the way of his son's happiness.  Good for Mr. Portman; I suppose this is as good a reason as any.

But I would ask Republican legislators throughout the country to now begin to ask themselves two questions:

1.  Would my position on the matter change if my son/daughter came to me (as Portman's did) and told me that they were gay?  If the answer is yes or maybe, then NOW is the time to change you position and get this over with, not after the Republican Party bleeds for a few more years over its stance against something that an increasing number of Americans support and which isn't really all that important in the grand scheme of things.

2.  The second question I would ask them to consider is "why does the federal government have ANY position on marriage at all?"  That is, we have mostly (the Defense of Marriage Act notwithstanding) considered marriage to be an institution regulated by state law.  To the extent that I have ANY support for a government role in marriage, this is about as far as I can go.  If you're interested in extending marriage to gay people as an act of fairness, why would you then penalize people (through the tax code, etc) who are not married?  What is fair about that?

Yes folks, I'm using this post to once again push my most libertarian view, and that is that the state--in ANY form--should be out of marriage.  That marriage should be a social and religious institution only, and not a legal construct--certainly not one which conveys rights to certain people while restricting them from others.

Do I support gay marriage?  No.  But I don't support straight marriage either, at least not marriage mediated by the State.


"The Hammer" said...

Ok, but are you ready for polygamy? The argument is much the same and don't tell me it's not coming. Forget about the Mormons, CAIR will be screaming for it and the next thing you know we'll be setting up Sharia courts.
I just can't get anyone to consider that marriage is for the ordered procreation and protection of children. The state has a huge interest. And it helps to civilize us men, otherwise we be knocking the shit out of each other trying to bang some female.
But take a second and reason this out. "Marriage" might work with a couple of females, I say "might". But males are dogs. Given no impediments we'd all be shagging everything up to and including our classic BSA 441. Two male gays living within the bounds of a "marriage" is absurd. You can call your wheelbarrow the space shuttle but that don't mean you're going to fly into space on the thing.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

I suppose I am. Will polygamy increase? Probably, a little. But one of the reasons "marriage" has been such an enduring institution has been its coherence with "the natural order of things". And yes, of course I see that argument coming.

There are plenty of ordered societies on the planet, some of which are advanced, in which the state does not underwrite marriage, yet there are not zombies and criminals ruling the streets. I think we can take this.

Anonymous said...

You can call your wheelbarrow the space shuttle but that don't mean you're going to fly into space on the thing.

Still laughing at Hammer's comment. For some reason it reminded me of the Chris Farley quote from Tommy Boy,

I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull's ass, but I'd rather take a butcher's word for it.

Anonymous said...

No, we can't take it. It will be the final blow. The Hammer is, as is often the case, right. I can't believe I just wrote that out loud

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