Are GOP gay marriage supporters hurting the cause?
While I'm genuinely thrilled that more and more Republicans are coming out to support marriage equality, it's important to consider why that is -- because the ends may not justify the means. To the extent Republican support for gay marriage is based on imposing restrictive and regressive conservative social norms, it ultimately hurts gays — and all of us — more than it helps.
Sure, Republican Sen. Rob Portman announced his support for same-sex marriage because he wants equality for his own gay son, but Portman also rationalized his views within a conservative values framework. In an Op-Ed announcing his change of heart, Portman wrote that he supports allowing gay couples to marry because he is a conservative, not in spite of it:
We conservatives believe in personal liberty and minimal government interference in people’s lives. We also consider the family unit to be the fundamental building block of society. We should encourage people to make long-term commitments to each other and build families, so as to foster strong, stable communities and promote personal responsibility.