Rob Portman, father

I’m glad to hear that Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) has changed his opinion on marriage equality. His support makes it easier to get same-sex marriage approved in Ohio and that would improve the live of many people in his state.

Portman changed his opinion in part because his son came out to him. In his op-ed Portman wrote, “Knowing that my son is gay prompted me to consider the issue from another perspective: that of a dad who wants all three of his kids to lead happy, meaningful lives with the people they love, a blessing Jane and I have shared for 26 years.”

This is a great lesson in how you should form opinions about policies with real-world implications. If your position would change if the issue directly affected one of your family members then your original position is probably wrong. Everyone who is hurt, left out, or suffering as a result of a policy is someone’s son or daughter.

I can only hope this is something Portman and his fellow senators can keep in mind when addressing every other important issue. It shouldn’t require somethingĀ happeningĀ to one of your own kids for you to put yourself in the shoes of a concerned parent.