So much for civility under the ever-shrinking republican Big Tent. A Kansas representative, Tim Huelskamp, slammed Senator Rob Portman for endorsing marriage equality after his son came out as gay. Think Progress reports:
Speaking in a sideroom, Huelskamp blasted Portman’s announcement this week that he has evolved to favor same-sex marriage two years after learning his own son was gay. “Here’s a senator who couldn’t deliver his own home state in the presidential election,” Huelskamp said dismissively. He continued, “somehow, we’re supposed to believe that if we abandon traditional marriage, that liberals are going to flock to us,” calling Portman’s position a “capitulation.”
Speaking of incivility, a “Christian” PAC told Senator Portman his son would die of AIDS. On Top Magazine reports:
The Christian conservative Government Is Not God PAC has warned Ohio Senator Rob Portman that his gay son may die of AIDS… The group warned Portman in a blog post that he was “accepting a behavior that may eventually kill his son from AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, or oral cancer.” “Homosexual sex is ultimately just as destructive as cocaine use. Would Portman suddenly call for the legalization of cocaine if his son had announced that he was a cocaine addict? Would that be ‘loving’ and ‘compassionate’?”
Sorry for my french, but the only appropriate response to this kind of bile is Fuck You.
House Speaker John Boehner, he of the orange complexion and always-ready tears, shed no tears over this one. Think Progress reports:
MARTHA RADDATZ (HOST): Can you imagine yourself in a situation where you reversed your decision as Portman has on gay marriage if a child of yours or someone you love told you they were gay.
BOEHNER: Listen, I believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It’s what I grew up with, it’s what i belive, it’s what my church teaches me and I can’t imagine that position would ever change.
Newt Gingrich isn’t moved by Senator Portman’s change of heart, either. Gay Star News reports:
‘I’m not going to second guess Rob Portman,’ said to the cable news channel CNN (as reported by Politico). ‘He’s an old personal friend. I think when you have somebody in your immediate family who comes in, you have three choices: You can say say, “I believe my principles so much, I’m kicking you out.” You can say say, “I still believe in my principles, but I love you.” Or you can say, “Gee, I love you so much I’m changing my principles,”‘ Gingrich said.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, not one to run from far-right positions, seemed to admit to host David Gregory that the GOP can’t continue to oppose marriage equality indefinitely. Think Progress reports:
GREGORY: Are younger conservatives more apt to see marriage equality as something that is, you know, what they believe, that is basic rather than as a disqualifying issue?
WALKER: I think there’s no doubt about that. But I think that’s all the more reason, when I talk about things, I talk about the economic and fiscal crises in our state and in our country, that’s what people want to resonate about. They don’t want to get focused on those issues.
NPR wonders if this is the beginning of the end of GOP opposition to marriage equality:
“Portman is politically conservative, but he’s never come across as an ideologue,” said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst and former Ohioan who characterized the senator, a former Bush administration budget official who was on Mitt Romney’s short list for vice president, as “an insider politician.” “This is probably just the tip of the spear; we’re going to see more of this,” said Kondik, at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “He’s the first Republican senator who supports gay marriage, and he certainly won’t be the last.”
The Washington Post has similar thoughts, comparing it to the way Democrats dealt with gun control from the 90’s until now:
In the mid 1990s, Democratic leaders — up to and including Bill Clinton — simply stopped talking about guns and gun control. That didn’t mean that a sizable portion of the Democratic base stopped caring about the issue; they did and still wanted more and stricter gun control measures. But the politicians in the party recognized that the broader public was simply not on their side on the issue and, in order to win elections, they needed to de-emphasize it. They didn’t abandon their past positions, they just stopped talking about it. Entirely. A look at gay marriage polling broken down by party identification suggests something similar is likely to happen on this issue for Republicans.
And Politico noted the relative silence on the topic at CPAC:
And the relative silence on the main stage of the Conservative Political Action Conference also says something about the country’s shift on the issue: Same-sex marriage is no longer the winning issue it was for the GOP less than a decade ago, when George W. Bush was running for re-election and a generation of younger voters had not yet come of age. Long a motivator of the Republican base, the issue has gotten plenty of attention at CPAC in the past. But not on the central stage of this year’s mega-gathering in Maryland.