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Letters to the editor

People aren’t really being represented

Sen. Rob Portman’s recent reversal on same-sex marriage exemplifies what is wrong with the legislature of this country. He represents (due to gerrymandered districts) an overwhelmingly conservative sector of this state. His previous anti-gay rights stance fit the majority of his constituents. Now he has reversed himself, not because of those in the district who opposed his views, but because his son tells him he is gay. So his congressional view is based on a family member, although he is supposed to represent thousands? What an amazing decision-making process. And this self-serving position and process are seemingly unopposed by his constituents.

Regardless of which side of the issue you support, everyone should be insulted and dismayed to see how unrepresented we, the people, actually are in Washington. How are other decisions about this country’s business being decided? Whose interests are actually being considered? How selfish and hypocritical. Personalizing the politics of and for the people.

Why are we bickering among ourselves about the stalemate on Capitol Hill? We are getting what we deserve. MICHAEL ANDREWS, DAYTON

He shoud support federal equality, too

As the parent of a gay child, I identify with Sen. Rob Portman’s changing opinion on same-gender marriage because of his son Will’s coming out. I am active in PFLAG Dayton, an organization of family and friends who offer support, education and advocacy on behalf of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) loved ones. Most PFLAG parents, like Sen. Portman, have undergone transformations in our understanding of what it means to be LGBT based on conversations with our children. While I agree that he should have listened more closely to the stories of his LGBT constituents and their families, I acknowledge that it often takes a personal connection to open one’s eyes.

I hope Portman’s views continue to evolve. I strongly disagree with his conclusion that, despite his personal beliefs, marriage should be a state, not federal, issue. Let’s hypothesize about what that means for Will. If he and the love of his life marry in, let’s say, Maryland, they will still not have the rights and responsibilities provided to married couples by the federal government. If they wish to move to Will’s home state of Ohio, they would forfeit the rights and responsibilities granted to them in Maryland. In fact, they would not even be married in Ohio. We might consider them prisoners of legal circumstance, not free to relocate for economic or family reasons and maintain their married status.

Sen. Portman, you love your son and want him to be happy and fulfilled. Support both state and federal marriage equality. NANCY TEPFER, BEAVERCREEK

Speak Up

I was disappointed and disgusted by Sen. Rob Portman’s recent announcement in favor of gay marriage. It was a toxic combination of situational ethics and political pandering that has become so typical of our elected officials.

I am about as Christian and conservative as you get and wish to respond to those critical of Sen. Rob Portman and gay rights. My Bible tells me to pluck out my eyes if they make me sin and give everything I have to the poor. I don’t see a lot of people complying with that. When you are blind and poor, get back with me. Also, to say they choose to be gay is like saying I choose to be 5-foot-8. Portman has a son who is a fine young man and he is proud of him and loves him as he should be.


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