Ohio senator has change of heart on gay marriage

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said Thursday that he now supports gay marriage because one of his sons is gay.
Associated Press
Mar 15, 2013


Ohio's junior senator made the disclosure during an interview in Washington, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

"It's a change of heart from the position of a father," he told three reporters during a 45-minute session in his office. "I think we should be allowing gay couples the joy and stability of marriage."

He also outlined his position in an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch.

As a member of the House in 1996, Portman voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Portman said Thursday his evolution on the subject of gay marriage began in 2011 when his son, Will, then a freshman at Yale University, told his parents he was gay. Portman said he and his wife, Jane, were very surprised but also supportive.

The Enquirer reported that Portman talked to his pastor and to people on both sides of the gay marriage issue, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is opposed to gay marriage, and former Vice President Dick Cheney, who supports it. Cheney's daughter is a lesbian.

Portman told reporters his previous views on marriage were rooted in his Methodist faith.

Portman said Thursday he would like Congress to repeal the provision of the DOMA that bans federal recognition of gay marriage, though he still supports the part of the law that says states should not be forced to recognize such marriages.



Always paid your bills, no handouts, tried to be forthright...sound like a republican. Doing what's expected doesn't make you special, either.

John Harville

Always paid my taxes. Always was grateful for the benefits of those taxes - schools, roads, safety protection, etc.
Always paid my payroll taxes - whenever I was employed. Accepted payments from those payroll tax insurance policies when the economy turned and my children still needed to eat and a place to live.
Volunteered for Vietnam rather than wait to be drafted (admittedly because my lottery number was low). Buried a brother and six friends killed in Vietnam.
Been around for seven wars and 13 presidents. Never voted a straight partisan ticket - even when I could do so with one mark on a paper ballot.
I keep the faith and eschew any religion.
And I think Rob Portman is extremely conflicted - ie: he favors marriage equality on the federal level (repeal DOMA) but thinks it should be left to individual states to set their own laws on the issue. Don't know how he feels about the fact his gay son can't love and marry a man here in Ohio...
So in the end, he doesn't really care that much about his son or his son's birthright, does he?