Republican Sen. Portman endorses same sex marriage after son comes out

By David Ferguson
Friday, March 15, 2013 8:36 EDT
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Rob Portman via screencap
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Senator Rob Portman (R) of Ohio has bucked his party’s prevailing attitude and endorsed same sex marriage. According to Cincinnati.com, the lawmaker held a 45 minute press conference on Thursday to announce his decision, telling reporters that it was his love for his gay son that prompted his evolution on the issue.

“It’s a change of heart from the position of a father,” Portman said. “I think we should be allowing gay couples the joy and stability of marriage.”

Portman said that his son Will, who is attending Yale University, came out to him two years ago.

“Will… came to Jane and me and announced that he was gay, that it was not a choice. It was who he is and he had been that way since he could remember,” Portman recalled of the conversation. “Jane and I were both surprised, very surprised, but also very supportive of him. Our reaction was not about policy or positions. It was about him as a son and letting him know we were 110 percent supportive of him.”

Portman published an op-ed piece in the Columbus Dispatch on Wednesday.

In it, he wrote, “I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married.”

“I wrestled with how to reconcile my Christian faith with my desire for Will to have the same opportunities to pursue happiness and fulfillment as his brother and sister,” Portman continued. “Ultimately, it came down to the Bible’s overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.”

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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