On March 14, 2013, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced he had changed his stance on same-sex marriage. The change came as a result of his son Will coming out as gay to Portman and his wife in 2011. Before this, Sen. Portman's opposition to gay rights was reflected in his voting record. He co-sponsored the 1996 federal ban on same-sex marriage and in 1999 voted for a measure prohibiting same-sex couples in Washington, D.C. from adopting children. You can watch an exclusive interview with CNN in which Sen. Portman discusses changing his stance on same-sex marriage.
While I'm glad Sen. Portman has come over to my side on this issue, his change in stance seems hollow. Usually when it comes to social issues, it seems the only time conservatives can consider another perspective is when it affects them. One exception which comes to mind is when Rep. State Representative Maureen Walsh made a plea to fellow legislators about same-sex marriage in 2012. Even in that case, it's fair to question whether or not Rep. Walsh's feelings about same-sex marriage were changed by her daughter coming out as gay. However, whereas Walsh's speech was full of passion, humor and honesty, Portman came off as robotic and political.
Here is my question for conservatives: Why does it seem your side has to be personally affected by an issue in order to consider another perspective?
In the clip below, The Majority Report host Sam Seder (sitting on the right) and guest Cliff Schecter discuss Sen. Portman and other instances of conservative politicians changing their stance on positions only after they are affected personally by an issue.