letters | Rob Portman and the politics of personal experience

Did Portman have to wait for son to come out to back gay rights?

I endorse and applaud Senator Rob Portman’s epiphany regarding his change of position on gay rights and same-sex marriage (“Portman is 1st GOP senator to back gay marriage,” Page A4, March 16). However, why did it take the fact that the Ohio Republican’s son came out for Portman to realize that his discriminatory views have been an injustice to all gay and lesbian Americans?

As with other lawmakers and administrators, why does the revelation that all men and women are entitled to equal constitutional rights have to be motivated by members of their own families coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender?

Didn’t Portman understand that he was elected to represent all Americans, and not just his son and his own family?

Daniel Palant