GOP senator with gay son now backs gay marriage
ReutersWASHINGTON/CLEVELAND -- U.S. Senator Rob Portman became the most prominent Republican lawmaker to back gay rights when he reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage on Friday, two years after his son told him he was gay.
March 17, 2013, 12:31 am TWN
In a newspaper opinion piece on Friday, shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments in two key cases on the issue, the Ohio senator said he now supports gay marriage.
“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,” Portman wrote in an op-ed piece in Ohio's Columbus Dispatch.
“That isn't how I've always felt. As a Congressman, and more recently as a Senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then, something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.”
Portman's 21-year-old son, Will, told the senator and his wife in February 2011 that he was gay and had been “since he could remember.”
Portman was quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper as saying he now believes same-sex couples who marry in states where it is legal should be eligible for the same federal benefits granted to heterosexual couples.