Mar 28, 2013 - Issue 510 Change of Heart Reveals Hate - The Other Side of the Tracks - By Perry Redd - BC Columnist

So I know you heard the latest tear in the fabric of the Republican Party, and even more so in the conservative movement…Senator Rob Portman became the most prominent Republican lawmaker to back gay rights when he reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage last Friday, two years after his son told him he was gay. Even though I am of the mind that Portman’s decision was the right thing to do, it reveals his disingenuous political expediency, and that opposing other people’s marriage choice is veiled hate. 

For years, we’ve been immersed in arguments of immorality and lewdness regarding same-sex relationships. Those arguments descended into fear-mongering that blame gay relationships on preposterous claims, ranging from STDs to mental illness. There had even been an era of “curing” those with the desire to marry someone of the same sex. Portman’s public proclamation puts all those years of insane arguments to rest.

But strangely enough, we’ve contracted yet another case of selective amnesia. We fail to recall that other high profile “homosexual haters,” like former several-time US Senate Republican candidate, Alan Keyes, and former Vice-President Dick Cheney also came to this same conclusion: People have the right to choose the course of their own lives, even the right to marry - a position consistent with the US Constitution.

Keyes was so insane that this conservative pundit and frequent Republican candidate caused a stir during the 2009 Republican convention by labeling Vice-President Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter a sinner and calling homosexuality “selfish hedonism.” This is the hate that was so accepted by this hateful wing of the Republican Party.

Although written by white men, for white men, the words embedded in the American psyche make the case: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” These people have espoused positions that have long denied other people their “pursuit of happiness.” The greater question is why?

I’m a straight male who has no desire to marry someone of the same sex, but what business is it of mine to deny someone else their desire to marry ANYONE else? Number one, I’ve got other stuff to do, and two, there are societal problems to be solved and marriage ain’t one of them! I’ve never seen a problem with marriage - until time for a divorce.

Denying others - gay or straight - their right to make themselves miserable is taught. I see that type of behavior as hateful and spiteful. Why do people do it? Simply, they do it because they can. People who have acted outwardly to prevent others from pursuing their brand of happiness have been practicing deep, indwelled hate that masquerades as “morality.” We’ve accepted this anti-social behavior for years.

Isn’t it strange that it’s an abomination until it’s your child who comes out? Keyes, Cheney and Portman are emblematic of a much wider population of Conservatives who must shed their hateful ways. More and more neo-Republicans have to expose their mean-spirited history. It’s clear that more of their brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts & uncles are queer - and they’re going to have to swallow it.

Portman’s 21-year-old son, Will, told the Senator and his wife in February 2011 that he was gay and had been “since he could remember.” Most of that time, Portman didn’t know…what kind of father was he? …So much for “family values!”

This hate has smacked the Republican Party directly in the face as they examine why they’ve lost five of the last six popular votes in Presidential elections. At their recent CPAC convention, factions within the Party kept saying the Party needs to “change their tone,” not their positions. This is plausible denial, something Republicans do best. Unfortunately, this time, it’s too transparent, even laughable. Their credibility is diminishing at warp speed. Now, they cannot be taken seriously on anything, not even issues of substance. Their hate stands nakedly before you…the emperor has no clothes. Columnist, Perry Redd, is the former Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere Seven, and author of the on-line commentary, “The Other Side of the Tracks.” He is the host of the internet-based talk radio show, Socially Speaking in Washington, DC. Click here to contact Mr. Redd.