Sen. Rob Portman, the first Republican senator to come out in support of gay marriage. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sen. Rob Portman's (R-Ohio) announcement that he now supports same-sex marriage since learning that his own son is gay is certainly newsworthy.
Portman is the first Republican senator to back gay marriage, he was on Mitt Romney's short list of potential running mates, and is considered a possible Republican presidential candidate himself in 2016. The change of heart could even tip the balance in the gay marriage debate.
But what makes the news most interesting is that Portman's policy reversal came not from debates in the Senate but from a personal connection to the issue. His son is gay.
Portman writes in the Columbus Dispatch:
Any parent knows children give you a new perspective on life. Seeing the world through your own child's eyes is a wonderful and life-changing experience.
But it makes you wonder how different our political debates might be if more children of U.S. senators suddenly announced they were gay — or poor, or simply without the tremendous advantages of being the child of a powerful lawmaker.
Every U.S. senator should take the time to look at the world through the eyes of not just their own children but of other people's children as well.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- Bob Odenkirk's 6 favorite books
- The stories behind 22 classic album covers
Subscribe to the Week