The United States Supreme Cour will hear arguments March 28 on a case supporting same-sex marriage. President Barack Obama, who won Ohio in 2008 and 2012 by more than 50-percent of the vote, has weighed-in with the high court to make same-sex marriage constitutional nationwide. The president, not coincidentally, has been joined by 211 Democrats and independents in Congress and 19 Democratic state attorneys general, according to the AP.
Meanwhile, Republicans from Ohio like Gov. John Kasich have chosen to hide their out-of-touch positions on same-sex marriage and women’s health rights by keeping silent on the case before the court. Republicans supporting same-sex marriage are few and far between, it seems, based on the list supporting it which is a little longer than it was two years ago, but which remains short of sitting members of Congress and governors.
Enter Ohio’s junior U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a so-called “common sense conservative” who reversed course on gay marriage once he realized his own son was gay. But it appears Sen. Portman was more than willing to sign a mutinous letter to Iran to scuttle years of negotiating by the Obama Administration, but couldn’t affix his signature to a document supporting gay marriage.
According to AP reporter Mark Sherman, only seven sitting members of Congress and one governor, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, made the cut to be part of the 21st century. Sherman said the “partisan divide over same-sex marriage among top elected officials remains stark, with Democrats overwhelmingly on record in favor and Republicans mostly silent so far.”
Speaking to Sherman, Gov. Baker, who was elected governor of the so-called liberal state last year, said, “My view on this is pretty simple. I have a brother who’s gay. He lives in Massachusetts. He’s married. There simply wasn’t a moral justification” for denying same-sex couples the right to marry.” Starting in 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage as a result of a state Supreme Court ruling.
The handful of Republicans who did sign the brief delivered to the court included Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Mark Kirk of Illinois. House members are Reps. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Bob Dold of Illinois, Chris Gibson of New York, Richard Hanna of New York and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. Not one of Ohio’s dozen GOP House Members crossed the line from unenlightened to enlightened.
That list, ironically, also includes Sen. Portman, who saw his son’s announcement in 2013 as his best shot at joining the growing ranks of Americans who don’t harbor antiquated beliefs on same-sex marriage. Laws in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee would be impacted by a high court ruling that upholds same-sex marriage as legal nationwide. Other prominent un-elected officials are also on-board with same-sex marriage, including, surprisingly, billionaire political donor David Koch and New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Not as surprising, support also came from Mary Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman. Six former governors and 16 former members of Congress joined up with the president and Democrats.
Next year, Sen. Portman will face a Democratic challenger, either former Gov. Ted Strickland or fresh-faced P.G. Sittenfeld, both of whom have come out for same-sex marriage.
So ask your marriage counselor whether Rob Portman is right for you. If not, you can do much better on the issue of same sex marriage by electing a Democrat, who will also be for issues Sen. Portman, Gov. Kasich and others don’t like, including hiking the minimum wage, reforming tax laws to advantage the middle-class, choosing peace of war, building infrastructure, funding public education, eliminating tax loopholes that benefit big corporations over small business owners, calling for pay equality between the genders and a host of other issues.