I have made it clear that my Facebook page and my blog are completely bipartisan. I rarely get involved publicly in political conversations nor have I ever revealed which political party I affiliate myself with. That will still remain true today except for on one social issue. I want to speak loudly today that all people should have the same rights when it comes to marriage and with whom they chose to spend the rest of their life with. I am in full support of gay marriages and equate anything less than the equality of this group of people with African-Americans sitting in the back of the bus, not giving women the right to vote or sending Jews to concentration camps. It is appalling to me that in the year 2013 we can still oppress a group of people for their beliefs. Blech….it is shameful.
The reason I am being so vocal about this today is because I became involved in a political discussion on a Facebook page yesterday (not my own page) about Republican Senator Rob Portman and his recent turn-around in support of gay marriages due to his own son’s coming out. In 1996, Portman backed the Defense of Marriage Act, but in 2011 his son said he was gay, and the Senator has had a change of heart.
The group discussing the issue on Facebook yesterday blasted Senator Portman for only doing what’s right because of a personal experience. The group, unsatisfied with the senator’s motives, labeled him an “idiot.”
This did not sit well with me. Everyone in this discussion was in support of gay marriage, and it amazed me how angry they all were over the Senator’s actions even though he was speaking out in support of this issue that we all believe so strongly about. I, for one, applaud the Senator. When I mentioned that it was brave of him to speak out even though he was jeopardizing his career, it was asked “Where was his bravery before his son came out?”
To me, that question is easy to respond to.
We all come from different places in life. We are raised with different socio-economic backgrounds, different religions, different education and different beliefs. When we are babies, we are dealt a certain set of cards, and we grow up believing what our surroundings teach us. It is our personal experiences along the way that break us away from these molds and allow us to make up our own minds and determine our own beliefs.
Is it really so awful that it took a personal experience with a loved one to change the Senator’s mind on gay marriage? Yes, the senator’s son came out to him two years ago, but I am certain that Senator Portman needed to go through a process of acceptance before he came public with an issue that goes against what his political party believes in. I do not fault him for this. It does not matter what he did in the past. What matters is that a Republican in a swing state (Ohio) is making a wrong a right and is opening the door for other Republicans to step forward in support of gay marriages. He is laying ground work, and I refuse to call him an “idiot.”
So…..this quiet political gal needed to blow that steam off of her chest today. I am sure there will be plenty of blog readers who disagree with me ( and many who agree), but this is the beauty of blogging. This is my outlet for speaking my mind, and this is what I believe.
In reflection, my song of the day is from one of the greatest peace activists, Bob Marley. Marley wrote “Get Up Stand Up,” and I turn to his music today for some comfort for going against my normal blog banter. Click HERE to go to Youtube to hear him cheerleading for standing up for beliefs. These are the words I need to hear today, and once again, I am embracing the music of my soul.