Monday, April 01, 2013

An Underlying Difference Between Portman and Salmon on Gay Marriage

While both Senator Rob Portman and Representative Matt Salmon have a gay son, each takes a different posture on the right of gays to marry. Understanding how each man’s view the issue and their sons differently helps one to understand why they differ.

In listening to his son and observing the son's life, Portman has concluded that his son is not emotionally ill and that the son is not socially dysfunctional or rebellious. He recognizes that as with many out of the closet gays, his son has and will endure ridicule and attacks, be shunned, looked down upon and ostracized, not something an emotionally balanced person one would seek to endure. Hence, he has concluded that his son is gay not by choice but by nature. One can well understand that right of gays to marry is a logical extension for Portman once he concluded that his son is gay by nature, that his son cannot help be attracted to and love with a person of the same gender.  

By contrast Salmon's position is simple and shaped by his religious beliefs. Though he loves his son, he cannot accept or approve of his son having sex with a man. For Solomon, being gay is a deliberate choice. Salmon holds that as God is just and that Scripture views gay sex as evil, a person cannot under any condition be viewed as gay by nature, for it would mean that God unjustly created a person with a nature for which he condemns them. While Salmon loves his son, for him the son’s sexual activity is a chosen yet unacceptable behavior, not part of the son’s nature. Tens of thousands of parents each year are faced with an adult child engaged in unacceptable non-criminal activities, such as, habitual lying, habitual and constant laziness, being irreligious, etc., but they like Salmon continue to love the child without accepting the sin. While not explicitly saying so, one can read between the lines, that for Salmon to embrace his son's lifestyle would be an act of denying what he professes as being his Christian faith.

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