You might remember that great philosopher, Chris Rock, once said that everybody had a gay cousin. Obviously that was an exaggeration, but his point was that it was hard to be homophobic when someone you know is gay.
We saw how this could affect somebody's world view when Dick Cheney, hardly a liberal, came out in 2004 against a proposed federal constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage, admitting that the fact that his daughter was a lesbian colored his views on the subject.
Yesterday Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman, who co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, reversed his previous stance against same-sex marriage by announcing that he now supports it, in large part because his son is gay, a reversal his hometown newspaper the Columbus Dispatch, calls "stunning."
Meanwhile at CPAC, Marco Rubio gave a speech that was described as "appealing to conservatives" by defending his take on a variety of issues, like his opposition to same-sex marriage. On that topic Rubio said “Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot."
No, it doesn't. However as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on that 1996 federal law asserting that gay marriage is not legal next week, many Republicans - affected by family or friends - are changing their minds on this quick moving social issue. The country is moving on this issue. Marco Rubio, who one day hopes to be president, isn't, at least not as quickly.
In the news yesterday, you've heard all those grandiose plans for the Clearwater Aquarium in recent weeks. But two Pinellas Count Commissioners said yesterday they have no idea if bed tax money might be available to help pay for those ambitious plans.
Speaking of politicians in St. Pete, Darden Rice announced her candidacy for City Council yesterday, where her matchup against the very conservative David McKalip should be ah, entertaining to say the least.
In Hillsborough County, Commissioner Les Miller is championing an idea floated a year ago by the board's other Democrat, Kevin Beckner; that is, pushing to change one at-large commission seat into a district one, in part to pave the way for the increasingly Latino county to have their own majority commission district, as is the case for African-Americans already there.