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U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) (C) departs a meeting with fellow members of the
Portman is still the only Republican supporter of marriage equality in the Senate
Before March 15, 40 41 United States senators had endorsed marriage equality. Since then, seven six have joined the club:
  • Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio
  • Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia
  • Sen. Jon Tester of Montana
  • Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri
  • Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska (Begich was already a supporter.)
  • Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina

There's only one Republican name on that list: Rob Portman. He made news because he was the first Republican senator to endorse marriage equality, and he's still the only one. Every senator who has endorsed equality since Portman's March 15 op-ed has been a Democrat.

Overall, 47 senators have endorsed equality. A total of 46 of them are Democrats, leaving nine Democrats in the 53-member bigot caucus. But they are joined by 44 Republicans—every GOP senator not named Rob Portman.

So despite all the RNC spin that Portman's endorsement was a watershed moment proving that the Republican Party has changed, he's actually the exception that proves the rule: They haven't.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Would you say that Rob Portman (14+ / 0-)

    endorsement of marriage equality made it "safe" for a number of Democrats to publicly endorse marriage equality?

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:19:37 AM PDT

  •  It was a bit of a water shed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tekno2600, LilithGardener, mconvente

    I think his story happened to give cover to some Red state dems like Kagan and Begich.  But I'm hardly surprised that no other Republicans followed him across the Rubicon.

    The Supremes are probably going to disappoint both opponents and foes of marriage equality.  Between the Prop 8 and DOMA rulings, they will extend equality, but not by as far as they can.  

    So this summer, that will be the next fund raising cry.  We'll all get emails about the importance of having the right justices and judges.  Money will flow to the Dems who support equality and to the Republicans that don't.

    So Kudos to Portman for being the first. Maybe next year someone with one foot out the door will tentatively join him.  Or a blue stater like Mark Kirk will make the calculation that he can withstand a primary and doesn't want this baggage for the general.  But it won't be a flood.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:22:59 AM PDT

  •  The crawl on a CNN story yesterday read: (13+ / 0-)

    "Gay marriage dividing GOP."

    Yeah, dividing it 44 to 1.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:23:10 AM PDT

    •  Republicans demand 100% obedience to their (4+ / 0-)

      politico-theological dictates. If you only vote with the Party 99% of the time that makes you a RINO and some crazy teabagger will primary you.

      Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

      by tekno2600 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:34:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It will be thus until the my Venn diagram (4+ / 0-)

      shows that the subset of Republicans who support marriage equality includes Republicans who are not also in the subset of Republicans who have kids that have come out to them.

      A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. --John Marshall

      by DoLooper on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:45:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But it is (0+ / 0-)

      Most of the corpcons and neocons are getting weary of the theocrats and bigots.  Except for the teabaggers, I suspect a lot of Republicans would just as soon be done with this, but are afraid of getting primaried or worse.  The corpcons are pretty open about it at this point.  Remember that Dick F'ing Cheney supports gay marriage, and I'm waiting for Dubya to come out, since I'm sure his painting is mellowing him out.  (And I'm waiting for God to come out in favor of marriage equality when he next discusses the issue with the Mormon elders.  Don't laugh.  Marriott signed the brief against Prop. 8 and DOMA.

  •  47%!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:23:47 AM PDT

  •  For those who say GOP and DNC are same, here's (4+ / 0-)

    yet one more point of difference.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:23:51 AM PDT

    •  I HATE that! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My wife used to say it but now knows how much it irritates me.
      I will always contradict anyone I hear espouse false equivalency- anywhere, anytime.
      When you hear someone say, "Both parties are the same", you know they are politically ignorant. And it's a safe bet that ignorance extends to other realms.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 11:38:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bill Nelson sitting it out surprises me. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, tekno2600, pademocrat

    His record on most other issues is pretty damn pro-gay. And recent polls say Florida now has a majority in support of marriage equality.

    Even if he's trying to triangulate in anticipation of a run for Governor, this seems an odd issue for it.

    "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

    by JR on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:24:49 AM PDT

  •  That's some "Sea Change" in the party! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:25:03 AM PDT

  •  I was sort of hoping that my Senator, Mark Kirk (3+ / 0-)

    would follow Rob Portman's lead and come out for marriage equality. Kirk supported repeal of DADT and he doesn't seem to be in the insane wing of the Republican Party (which is a very small place). I guess I was wrong.

    •  I have a feeling he will (0+ / 0-)

      Especially if it is legalized here in state.  

      "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred." Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by djbender on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 11:58:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ten yards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Misuse of "exception that proves the rule"

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:26:15 AM PDT

    •  If the rule is, (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans only care about themselves, then, yes it fits, because the reason Portman did the volta face is it affects his family, so the reason for the exception illustrates why the rule is what it is.  But otherwise, I agree.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly, consider this example: (0+ / 0-)

        You see a street sign saying "PARKING PERMITTED ON SUNDAY"

        This is an exception that "proves the rule" that parking is prohibited on days other than Sunday, even if there aren't any signs expressly stating that.

        So Portman is an exception, but doesn't really prove a rule.

        That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

        •  both are accepted senses (0+ / 0-)
          "A case may appear at first sight to be an exception to the rule. However, when the situation is examined more closely, it is observed that the rule does not apply to this case, and thus the rule is shown to be valid after all.

          Fowler's example is of a critic, Jones, who never writes a favourable review. So it is surprising when he writes a favourable review of a novel by an unknown author. Then it is discovered that the novel is his own, written under a pseudonym. Obviously the rule doesn't apply to this case (although the rule may need to be more precisely stated in future) and the previous evaluation of Jones's ill-nature toward others is re-affirmed."

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 12:25:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's a bit naive to expect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a lot of endorsing from the GOP, right now.  

    Pragmatically, they have to worry about their primary and general election battles.  In southern state like, say Oklahoma, Coburn would be DOA if he came out in support of SSM.  I don't know why a few more GOP in the NE haven't come out in support - I had thought one of Snowe, Collins or Dukakis had but I could be wrong.  But they might remember that Specter was forced to flip to the Dems in PA b/c of a primary challenge and are still worried about it.  

    And frankly, SSM isn't a big topic for most people.  Supporting it might overly anger the base which is a problem for GOP senators whereas it won't really be a big difference maker in a general election in most states.  

    •  Just how do they "get over" that hurdle? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I look at the "highly likely participants" in a GOP Primary or Caucus in my current state (MI) and my home state (VA), and I don't see the segment or segments in that particular universe that would in 2014 or even 2016 add up to...say 25% of all participants who would be consistently asserting in public "Aren't there more important things for us to consider?" I don't see them jumping to "We embrace SSM" without some sort of very messy intermediate step or steps that will take more than a couple of election cycles.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:47:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  GOP can just keep quiet (0+ / 0-)

        Heck, the dems stopped talking about things like gun control and the death penalty (and environment in some areas) for decades b/c they were losing causes for them.  Occasionally, there would be an attack from the left in a primary but mostly the Dems focused on other issues more relevant to the voters.  

        •  Much easier said than done (0+ / 0-)

          The issues and beliefs that drive their activism make it very hard for many, if not most, of them to "tone down" their rhetoric.

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:23:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Theoretical CNN headline (6+ / 0-)

    "Both parties have members that do and don't support gay marriage."



    •  We know Tammy Baldwin does--see photo of today.. (0+ / 0-)

      @bluecheddar1 A witness to history this morning – Tammy walks into #SCOTUS for today’s proceedings #equality #wiunion

    •  same is true of just about any issue (0+ / 0-)

      abortion rights, guns, whatever.  There may be party line votes in Congress, but I don't think there's a single issue on which any party has complete unanimity, except Ryan's medicare voucher plan.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:59:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He should change his name (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant

    To Rob "token" Portman (R).

    GOP Republicans can now say "I have a friend that supports gay marriage, so I'm not a bigot"

    We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

    by Patriot4peace on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:40:37 AM PDT

  •  And the Log Cabin (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans are saying what about this?

  •  The real test (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, Hugin

    Do you know what I'd be curious to see?  How the support of a handful of Republicans (Portman plus to the two in the house) for same-sex marriage translates to other issues that do, in fact, run up more with economic self-interest.  For example, do they believe that an employer would have the right to deny health coverage to an LGBT employee's partner because of religious opposition to their union?  Susan Collins, who describes herself as pro-choice, still voted for the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed private employers to ignore the contraception mandate if they claimed to have a religious problem with it.

  •  Portman hasn't changed, either. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not much.  That he is suddenly wiling to "let the states decide" is an endorsement only of the status quo that has existed for a long time--or in fact he's endorsing the states' continued right to discriminate.

    Wake me when he comes out in favor of anything that the US Congess could actually do, like repealing DoMA.  Portman seems to consider the matter already settled.

    •  Oh, he's changed (0+ / 0-)

      He has a gay kid.  So he's probably intolerant of the bigots and probably has been, among his own counsel, for a long time.  But he didn't say so until his political weathervane told him it would be to his interest to "change".

  •  Posted by a fundie Facebook friend today, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant

    in response to the flood of pro marriage equality posts and photos:

    "I hope that with every picture posted that there are earnest inward prayers, 'Lord, make me humble and show me abundant, undeniable truth even if that truth means I am wrong.'"

    I commented "Likewise, I'm sure!"

    I wonder how long before I'm unfriended ;-0

    •  prayers for "abundant undeniable truth"- (0+ / 0-)

      evidence of the Right's discomfort with anything not solidly black and white- anything not clear cut.
      I detect a primitive fear behind that bent, a fear not assuaged by use of the higher mind.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 11:51:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This (0+ / 0-)
      Lord, make me humble
      is where just about all fundies become unstuck. Certitude does not lead to humility.
  •  its hard to get your (0+ / 0-)

    mind in the contemporary century when that mind is stuck in a cave with the rest of the neanderthals.

  •  It's not a marriage issue. It's not a procreation (0+ / 0-)

    issue.  It's a MORALITY issue.  The right wing is trying to impose its concept of morality on all of us.  They are, unfortunately for them, running against the tide of American history.

    When given the option, America always chooses to EXPAND civil rights,not restrict them.  I find it interesting that many of the same people who say they support freedom and liberty, have no problem imposing their will on others.

  •  Susan Collins (0+ / 0-)

    I can't believe noone has stated that obvious name.

    A moderate republican in a state that voted FOR marriage equality at the ballot box.

    Even if the maine Republicans primaried her, she could do a...waitforit...Lisa Murkowski and blow out the opponent

  •  RNC Committeeman Wants You to Know the Truth About (0+ / 0-)

    And another nutcase comes crawling out of his filthy hole!

    A Michigan RNC Committeeman Wants You to Know the Truth About "Filthy" Homosexuality

    Dave Agema is a Republican National Commiteeman from Michigan, one of the state's three avatars in the organization. His successful campaign for the job told voters that there "simply weren't enough conservatives" in the RNC to challenge "the big government Republicans." He gets to vote on party bylaws, on the chairman -- stuff like that. And he's not really on board with this kinder, gentler Republican Party jive. A source points me to Agema's Facebook page (viewable only to Friends), where Agema has shared a semi-viral list by "Frank Joseph, M.D.," all about the threats posed by homosexuals.....

  •  Politicians will endorse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when it is politically expedient. There are very few profiles of courage when it comes to this or just about any other issue.

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