I will preface this by saying that prior to the recent headlines, I knew very little about Rob Portman and his policies. While some may applaud the Ohio Republican senator's newfound support for gay marriage after learning that his son was gay, I find it appalling, hypocritical and anything but empathetic. If he so strongly opposed marriage rights for gays philosophically, how can he justify changing his view so quickly?
It is appalling when social conservatives change their political positions on social issues after it directly affects them. Would social conservatives change their views on abortion if their 16-year-old daughter was pregnant? Would social conservatives change their views on health insurance if they had no coverage?
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We should demand that our leaders have empathy, which is to think and behave as if you were in the position of others, particularly the down and out. I respect anyone who changes their views after much thought and consideration. However, I do not respect people like Sen. Portman who dramatically change their view due to a change in their own personal situation when they should have previously considered the issue with an empathetic viewpoint.