Twitter icon Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo

An essay by Dr. Marty Klein

Poor reason to support gay rights: "My son is gay"

Sponsored link

You’ve probably heard that Ohio ultra-conservative Senator Rob Portman has changed his position and now supports same-gender marriage—because, he says, his son is gay.

That’s great for progressives. But…

Wanting equal rights for your son is a poor reason to support equal rights for a class of people. It reflects exactly the kind of tribalism that’s preventing most of the Arab world and Africa from ever creating secular democracies. In Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, “voting” is simple: Sunnis vote for Sunnis, Shia for Shia, Kurds for Kurds, etc.. This isn’t voting, its tribal warfare brought indoors.

There are still no civic institutions knitting together the “countries” of Iraq or Afghanistan, or of Syria, Lebanon, Albania, Rwanda, Azerbaijan, and other places where ethnicity and family history are more important than national identity.

Senator Portman sees public policy as a way of comforting HIS family, not of nourishing the American people. His statements this week showed no recognition of any actual principle of fairness. He acknowledges that his past opposition to civil rights for gay people is rooted in his faith tradition—itself a bizarre (if too-common) abdication of his legislative responsibility. He now says that he sees gay couples’ desire to marry as a tribute to marriage rather than a threat (recalling the old fear that giving Blacks civil rights would endanger the rights of Whites). He also says his new position is rooted in the Biblical value of compassion.

But as inappropriate as it is to reference his nouveau interpretation of the Bible for a legislative position, he isn’t extending this “compassion” to any other Americans in any other situations.

So this is a mind that has NOT opened. Because as Portman himself said, he’s “had a change of heart based upon a personal experience”—not social science, not Constitutional analysis, not a desire to extend America’s sweet promises to all its inhabitants.

In order to implement this Biblical “compassion” among the rest of his eleven million non-gay constituents, does Portman require a daughter who needs an abortion, a son who marries outside his race, a grandchild with a mental illness, an elderly parent who can’t afford medical care? For the good of the nation, should we hope that Portman’s brother is swept up in an FBI sting while enjoying age-play fantasies in an adult chat room?

Our government confers dozens of civil rights on everyone who marries. Thus, all adults should be eligible to marry, or the government should stop privileging married people and simply go out of the marriage business.

And so I’m glad to have Portman’s support for extending the option of marriage to non-heterosexual Americans. But this support is just a kinder, gentler version of political opportunism. Instead of voting in a way that lines his pocket, he’s now voting to enrich his son’s life. Other gay men and women will benefit. But anyone else who needs “compassion”—or as I call it, civil rights—will have to wait until the next development in Portman’s private life.

horizontal rule

Reprinted from Sexual Intelligence™ Marty Klein, Ph.D. ( Dr. Klein generously allows quotations if the preceeding attribution is included.
Originally posted on on 2013-MAR-17.
Originally posted on this web site on 2013-APR-04.
Latest update: 2013-APR-04 Author: Dr. Marty Klein.

line.gif (538 bytes)

Webmaster's comment on the above essay:

Clearly, the path that Senator Portman took from his opposition to acceptance of equal rights for the LGBT community was triggered by the discovery of his son's sexual orientaiton. However, I respectfully differ with Dr. Klein on his interpretation of the process that Portman went through. My interpretation is that he did not decide to support marriage equality because of his love and respect for his son. Rather, I suspect that congnitive dissonance lies at the core of Senator Portman's change of attitude.

Until recently, his high respect for his son apparently coexisted with very negative attitudes towards the LGBT community. Then, he found out that his son is gay. The two belief systems could not comfortably coexist in his brain. He either had to reject his positive views towards his son, or to examine the validity of his negative beliefs towards all LGBTs. I suspect that after he examined his beliefs about LGBTs, which he has acknowledged were derived from his religious faith, he found that they did not correspond with reality.

Surveys have shown that the most powerful influence to change a person's beliefs about LGBTs is to discover that a friend or family member is gay. I feel that much of the surge in support for marriage equality is being caused by people risking spiritual, emotional and physical abuse, coming out of the closet, and going public with their sexual orientation.

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or return to the "visitors' essays" menu, or to the "LGBT in the media" menu, or  choose:


Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show original" button at the top of this page to restore page to English.

Sponsored links