Senator Robert Portman’s (R-OH) change of heart on marriage equality must be celebrated. His son’s admission to his parents took enormous courage, one no father could ignore. So I am very concerned about the intolerant reaction I am reading today from those on the left.
This phenomena extends beyond Senator Portman’s recent announcement. Even Bill Clinton, the darling of the Democratic party, got nailed! President Clinton recently reversed his position on the law he signed. Jonathan Capehart recently expressed his surprise at the number of posts on his Facebook page from followers who were upset that the former president took to long!
For the love of God! Have we become so cynical and jaded that every step of progress must be debated or questioned?
My message to my friends on the left is simple. We have to cut this nonsense out. How do you think Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King would have responded to Senator Portman’s conversion? Can anyone imagine the late Reverend King looking cynically upon the whites who joined his famous marches? How would you feel if you had a similar change of heart only to hear your friends question your sincerity?
I am not a biblical expert but I believe the book mentions the importance of nurturing the planted seed. Isn’t that what all the great ones — from Jesus Christ on — have done? Every step forward must be celebrated. And even if someone takes a temporary detour backwards, is there anything wrong with continuing to offer support. Imagine if a relative you love deeply is addicted to alcohol or drugs and they begin to get treatment but only to stumble. Would not you love them no matter what?
Marriage equality should be the simplest issue of any. In my world, love is love and if two men or women want to marry one another, my first and only reaction is great! So what if Senator Portman knew in 2011 that his son was gay. The fact that he told Mitt Romney during his vetting process as a potential VP candidate was an enormously positive step.
The planted seed offered by Bill Clinton, Robert Portman, or anyone else that has a change of heart on marriage equality must be nurtured, not questioned. If not, will we end up repeating the words of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables: “What have I done, sweet Jesus what have I done. Become a thief in the night, become a dog on the run. Have I fallen so far or is the hour so late that nothing remains but the cry of my hate. The cries of the dark that nobody hears. Here as I stand at the turning of the years.”